Reps Ask FG To Terminate Reconcession Deal On Ajaokuta Steel Company
The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to terminate its reconcession agreement with Global Infrastructure Nigeria Ltd. (GINL) on the Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State.
The lawmakers made the call during Thursday’s plenary after adopting the report of the House ad-hoc committee set up to probe the failure of the steel company.
They asked the government to take a cue from the United States and demonstrate a strong political will to resuscitate the Ajaokuta Integrated Steel plant by direct sourcing.
The House called for the disbursement of about $2billion needed to revamp and complete the two per cent external aspects of the integrated project.
According to the report adopted, this include revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company and the National Iron Ore Manufacturing Company, Itakpe; as well as completing 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 are also part of the project.
The report recommended that the government should, as a matter of national interest and security, annul the reconcession agreement of August 1, 2016, with GINL, as there was an alleged extant Federal Government indictment against the company.
It also asked the government to cease from any further thought of concessioning or reconcessioning of the Nigerian Steel Companies as the nation has local capable hands that can manage the integrated plants when properly funded.
Other recommendations in the report include, “That the Federal Government should revive relations with the original builders of the company (TPE of Russia) towards 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.”
“That since it is known that most of the Abacha loot was gotten from the debt by back deal involving Ajaokuta, then the recovered loots which are still flowing into Nigeria should be used to supplement the funding of the completion of the Ajaokuta integrated steel plant.”
The lawmakers also asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to heed the directive of late President Umar Yar’Adua in 2008, to prosecute the alleged collaborators of GNLD as “economic saboteurs”.
They stated that the company and all indicted local collaborators must be made to pay damages to the host communities that suffered the loss of lives when the company allegedly used brutal force against the workers who tried to stop it from allegedly vandalising the assets of the concessioned plants.
The House resolved that accelerated legislative work must be done by both chambers of the National Assembly to ensure that both the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the National Iron Ore Manufacturing Company, Itakpe, were removed from the privatisation list.