By Patrick Andrew
The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on steel to investigate an alleged increase of the moribund Ajaokuta steel company workers monthly salaries from N228million to N3.4billion.
Members said yesterday they were shocked when it was brought to the attention of the House that the monthly wage bill of staff of the dead company rose by more 3000 times and therefore directed its committee to unearth the matter within the next two weeks and report to the House.
This came on the heels of a motion introduced by Rep Abbas Tajudeen (PDP, Kaduna) entitled: ‘Need to investigate the expenditure of a huge sum of N3.4bn monthly on payment of salaries to staff of the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company’.
The member submitted that the motion based on the report in the Daily Trust of September 1, 2014 where the Chairman of Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Aliyu Kola Belgore was quoted that the sum of N3.4bn is being spent monthly on payment of salaries to the staff and management of the moribund company.
Similarly, he drew the attention of the House to another publication in the BluePrint of September 5, 2014 where the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Association of Nigeria (ISSAN) and the Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (TEWUN) in a press conference claimed that the monthly wage bill for 2,900 staff of the company is actually N288m and not the sum of N3.4bn as alleged.
“The provisions of Section 88 (2) (b) of the constitution which empowers the National Assembly to direct or cause to be directed an investigation aimed at exposing