Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, yesterday said the Ajaokuta Steel Company, Ajasteel in Kogi State could industrialise Nigeria over night if given the needed attention by all stakeholders with adequate funding.
This is even as the Sole Administrator of Ajasteel, Isah Onobere said the company requires N80billion to put it in use at full capacity.
Ben-Bruce and Onobere, who spoke during a public hearing organized by the committee in Abuja, advised the federal government to involve the company in its negotiations with the Chinese government which was expected to construct 8, 000 kilometres of rail network in the country, at the cost of $80billion.
According to the committee chairman, what the government needed to do was to tell the Chinese government that the steel needed for the entire project could be produced in Ajaokuta and that the firm requires about $40million to produce the raw materials it needed.
He expressed disappointment that the successive governments could abandon the projects and blamed previous administrations and governments as being behind the rot and abandonment.
The chairman pledged that his committee would meet with Vice President, Yomi Osinbajo to find lasting solution to the problem to ensure that the company work again since it could be operational even without subventions from the federal government.
“After spending about $5bn, it does not make any sense to abandon the plant. The government should have had a plan. We are disappointed that successive governments after Shagari abandoned the project”, he said.
Ben-Bruce commended the former President Shehu Shagari administration for the foresight in establishing the company in the Second Republic.
However, Onobere disclosed that one of the 43 plants installed in the complex was capable of producing 600, 000 tonnes of steel annually and that the quantity could cover a 10, 000 kilometres of rail network
across the country and …Read More
Source:: Nigerian Pilot