Stakeholders meet on how to revitalise Ajaokuta steel firm

Worried by what he described  as unknown forces militating against the completion of  Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State, stakeholders  from Kogi Central senatorial district,  at the National Assembly, met and deliberated on  its  early completion and   on how to revitalise the  steel company.

The convener of the meeting and the senator representing the zone at the National Assembly, Ahmed  Ogembe,  said  that it  was  unfortunate that  many interests are working against the revitalisation of the company.

The  senator   queried why there is so much rush  in  concessioning  Itakpe National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), despite the fact that it is supposed to be a source of raw materials  for  the Ajaokuta company, adding  that   government   needed  to make Ajaokuta Steel Company work before the concession of Itakpe.

The member,  representing Okehi/Adavi federal constituency,  at the National Assembly,  Honourable Kabiru Ajanah, said the public hearing conducted by the House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation,   indicated  that  critical stakeholders and the host community which he represent, were not carried along in the  signed concession agreement with the same Indian firm.

“There is no way the Indians will come back to work in Itakpe without relating with the host community and it is in the best interest of the Federal Government and the Indian firm to carry the host community along in the signing of the agreement so as to avoid a repeat of the Niger Delta crisis in Itakpe.”

The executive secretary, African Iron and Steel Association, Dr Sanusi Mohammed, said the concession agreement carried out by the Federal Government on NIOMCO, was not in the best interest of Nigerians.

He urged Senator Ogembe to use the instrumentality of the National Assembly to prevail on the government to revisit the agreement  made with the Indian company.