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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

FG to Concession Ajaokuta Steel Company after Verifiable Audit

Fayemi

In a Press briefing on Thursday, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi has said the Federal Government, FG will only concession the Ajaokuta steel company when an independent and verifiable technical audit is ready to ascertain the level which the project is currently on.

Fayemi said that the country has spent $8 billion since the project was embarked upon in 1979, which is why the federal government will not make any mistake of its predecessors in the process of concession.

He said about 14 steel companies from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other steel companies that have indicted interest in bidding for the revival of the steel plant but have been asked to wait until the Independent audit is ready which was part of the agreement the ministry has entered.

“On August 4th 2016, we signed a modified Consensus Agreement with Global Infrastructure Holding Company in the aspect of ownership and auditing of the project which will be ready in the next six weeks so as to make the path clear from the controversies surrounding the steel that arose from the Obasanjo’s administration which concessioned it and the Yar’adua administration that revoked the concession of the Ajaokuta steel,” the minister  stated.

Fayemi said the vote of no confidence passed on him and the minister of state, for mines and steel development Abubakar Bawa Bwari by the House of Representatives and the subsequent attacks by some members of the house after visiting Ajaokuta steel and for not attending a sectorial debate in the house during plenary was unfair as they had cogent excuse for their absence.

“The attack on myself and my colleague regarding the Ajaokuta steel by the House of Representatives members is frankly unwarranted and uncalled for as the same national assembly that approved N2 billion for us in 2017 budget to implement the concessionary process are now attacking and passing a vote of no confidence on us. What is our offense please?, “ he added.

He further said that the invitation was the fourth they were honouring as they had previously attended the committee hearing on Ethics, Privileges and Public Complaints including that of privatisation by the upper and lower chambers.

A clear explanation was documented to state why they were absent, adding that he was the lead minister for the ERGP focus labs while his state counterpart was attending a steel conference in Canada.

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