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Published On: Thu, Mar 29th, 2018

Reps seek $1bn excess crude fund to complete Ajaokuta Steel

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The House of RepresentativesBy Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma

The House of Representatives yesterday adopted two bills seeking to prevent the concession of Ajaokuta steel company.
This was even as the lawmakers resolved to use $1 billion from the federal government’s share in the excess crude revenue for the company’s completion.
The bills are: An act to provide for the Ajaokuta Steel Company completion fund and a bill for an act to amend the public enterprise privatization and commercialization act.
The bills, each sponsored by 301 lawmakers, were first introduced for first reading on Wednesday last week.
It was then passed for second reading on Thursday and subsequently referred to the committee of whole.
Considering the committee’s report during plenary on Wednesday, the lawmakers resolved to use $1 billion from the federal government’s share in the excess crude revenue for the company’s completion.
They also said the money shall be applied by the minister only for purposes of the steel’s completion, and as approved by the National Assembly.
There has been a lingering controversy surrounding the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
The lawmakers had earlier asked President Muhammadu Buhari to direct Kayode Fayemi, minister of mines and steel development, to stop the process of the concession.
The bill amending the privatization act, seeks to remove the steel plant from the list of public assets which the federal government has powers to privatize or concession.
The lawmakers also want to strip the National Council on Privatization of its powers as the only body backed by law to decide on which firms should be on the schedule.

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