Ajaokuta Steel Company: We Will Resist Concessioning Moves, Says Dogara
Posted On Feb 13, 2018
Speaker of the House of Representatives has disclosed that the parliament will resist any move to concession Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, saying doing so would amount to concessing Nigeria’s future.
The speaker, who said it is a collective shame to all leaders that the project is yet to be completed after so many years, made these statements when he led members of the House Committee on Steel to the company in Kogi State.
Hon Dogara also announced that the House will consult with stakeholders to work out ways to source for the $500 million needed to complete the last phase of the project, while noting that except the political will is lacking, getting the funds to complete the company shouldn’t be an issue.
He said the reason why the steel company had not been completed was due to a leadership problem, saying where there is competent leadership, ways to source funding for such a multi potential company will not be a problem.
Saying the present leadership has shown direction by first ending an arbitration case in foreign jurisdiction, Hon Dogara disclosed that there are many ways through which the $500 million can be sourced, including the Sovereign Wealth Fund, Excess Crude Account and recovered financial crimes loot.
The Speaker added that the House will hold another of its sectoral debates, where the lawmakers will meet with relevant agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) whose chairman, Ibrahim Magu, will be expected to brief the House how much it has recovered from corruption proceeds that can be applied into the completion of the project.
He explained that his determination to ensure that the steel company is revived is borne out of the promises that the company holds for Nigeria’s teeming population in the form of power and gas development, economic boost, thousands of jobs creation, development of manufacturing sector, development of infrastructure, investor appeal, among others.
The speaker maintained that running and managing the company can be concessioned after completion since government is not a good manager of companies.
The Speaker said, “Imagine if this plant had been completed in 1986, where Nigeria would be at the moment.
“Any patriotic Nigerian that visits this place will shed tears irrespective of the part the person is from and for a foreigner that visits here, when he hears people describe this place as a shithole,he will go with the impression that it may be true. We have no reason not to complete that plant.
“You cannot concession your future, it is never done. I’m yet to see a nation that even concessions its bedrock and still succeeded. If you see one, just tell me. And that’s why previous attempts to concession it were not possible.
“We keep doing repeating the same things and expecting to get different results. That’s the definition of stupidity and since we are not stupid, we will not repeat it. We can make Nigeria proud so that every black man in the world can beat his chest. Anyone who plans to outsource the completion of this plant will definitely run into problems with us.”