Reps urge FG to use Abacha loot to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company

By Elizabeth ADENUGA

The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Federal Government to use the recovered funds from the Abacha loot to fund the Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi.

The resolution was sequel to the adoption of the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Ajaokuta Steel Company headed by Rep Idris Ahmed (APC-Plateau) at the plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker Yussuf Lasun in Abuja.

The lawmakers said that since it was known that most of the Abacha loot was gotten from the deal involving Ajaokuta company, the recovered loot coming into the country should be used to supplement the funding of the completion of the integrated steel plant.

”The Federal Government should demonstrate a strong political will, just like the United States President did recently in their steel sector, to resuscitate the Ajaokuta Integrated Steel Plant by direct sourcing and disbursement of about $2 billion needed to revamp and complete the 2% external aspects of the Integrated project,” the said.

The legislators added that this should include  “revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company and the National Iron Ore Manufacturing Company, Itakpe; completion of the various external rail track system and access roads linkages; the development and optimal functioning of the various mining sites for steady supply of raw materials to guarantee an uninterrupted steel production when the blast furnace would be started.”

They urged the Federal Government, as a matter of national interest and security, to annul and terminate the recent re-concession agreement entered into with Global Infrastructure Nigeria Ltd (GINL) on Aug. 1, 2016.

According to them, there is still an extant Federal Government indictment against the company (GINL).

”The Federal Government should cease from any further thought of concessioning and/or reconcessioning of the Nigerian steel companies as Nigeria has capable hands under the services of the Federal Republic to manage the integrated plants when properly funded.

”The Federal Government should renew relationship with the original builders of the company (TPE of Russia) toward wooing them back to continue and complete the good work they started alongside the current management team of indigenous sole administrators who have shown expertise and practical knowledge in the integrated steel plants management and production.

”The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should heed the presidential directive of late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2008, to prosecute all the collaborators of Global Infrastructures Nigeria Ltd. as economic saboteurs.

”Both the company, Global Infrastructures Nigeria Ltd, and all indicted local collaborators should be made to pay damages to the host communities that suffered loss of lives when the company used brutal force against the workers (most of whom were community youths) who tried to stop the company from stripping and vandalising the assets of the concessioned plants,” the lawmakers said.

They resolved that Global Infrastructures Nigeria Ltd. and its associates be banned from further doing any business in Nigeria ”as its track record has been marred by duplicity and fraud.”

They called for an accelerated legislative work by both chambers of the National Assembly toward ensuring ”that both the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the National Iron Ore Manufacturing Company, Itakpe, are removed from the privatisation list.”

When Mr Lasun put the report on a voice vote, the lawmakers unanimously adopted it.

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