Reps Grill Minister Over Concession of Ajaokuta Steel



From Lateef Taiwo

The House of Representatives Committee on Steel Development on Thursday , grilled the Minister of Steel Development, Dele Alake over federal government plan to concession Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Complex to a foreign firm known as Global Steel of Russia.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Steel Development, Hon Zainab Gimba and other members of the Committee had questioned the planned concession of the Steel Complex in an event held at the National Assembly on Thursday

Speaking, the chairman stated that there are a lot of administrative lapses and reported misappropriation of funds on the part of the Ministry in overseeing the Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Complex.

The lawmaker also raised issues with the composition of the National Steel Council saying that the House Committee had been inundated with reports about the activities of the council

On the planned concession of the Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Complex, she informed that her committee is worried that there are reports that some Russians and other foreigners are bidding for the concession of the facility.

She said that the issue of concession of the Iron and Steel Complex and other issues in the running of the national asset is what the House Committee wants the Minister and his officials to address.

In his presentation, the Minister of Steel Development, Dele Alake explained that there were on-going discussion on the concession of the Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Complex adding that the discussion with the various parties is still at an early stage.

He further stated that the the Ministry of Steel Development is looking at the possibility of concession of the facility adding to hat a final decision had not be taken on it.

He also stated that the national asset was built in 1979 and work was stopped on the facility in 1983 even as he said that successive federal administrations have been making frantic efforts to fix the facility

He also said that the president’s approval is required before the facility can be concessioned to any local or foreign concern adding that there are some maintenance and legal issues that needed to be resolved before the full concession can be effectively done.


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