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Published On: Tue, Jun 5th, 2018

Reps, stakeholders urge Buhari, EFCC to reopen probe of Ajaokuta asset stripping

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  • As Minister assures steel completion with $1bn

By Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma

The House of Representatives and other stakeholders yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to revisit the probe of asset stripping at the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL).
This was just as the Acting Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Bawa Bwari, disclosed that the Steel is expected to take $500 million to $1 billion for completion of the project, assuring Nigerians that the Steel will be completed in short time.
The above was sequence to the ongoing investigative and public hearing into the comatose Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL), where they urged President Buhari to jettison ill-advises being given by sycophants which led to the prolonged delay in the completion of the complex.
To this end, lawmakers urged President Buhari to visit the complex with the view to take informed decision on the project which has potential of achieving the country’s industrialization plan.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel in his presentation also confirmed that the N2 billion was included in the 2017 budget for audit was part of the concession process.
Speaking earlier, Natacha Akpoti, legal practitioner and social entrepreneur who frowned at the state of the complex, harped on the need to prosecute promoters of the shell companies for economic sabotage.
According to her, a serving Governor and former son of late Head of State were responsible for the lingering crisis bedevilling ASCL, just as she called for revisit of the bilateral agreements signed between Nigeria and Russia for defaulting in meeting the technology transfer.
In his remarks, the House Leader, Gbajabiamila reiterated the resolve of the House towards the industrialization of Nigeria through a steel based socio-economic and infrastructure development.
“We all known that any country that has not migrated to the level of steel production development has not started as a true independent nation and that such national interest us the only religion that is pursued.
Speaking earlier, Samaila Akaaba, ASCL Sole administrator said about $635 million required to complete the two percent left undone based on the internal audit conducted by the ASCL management in synergy with two Ukrainian firms and Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).
He assured that the report of the just concluded audit of the complex will be submitted on Thursday.
According to him, based on the audit conducted in 2010, about $800 million is required to complete the internal and external infrastructure of Ajaokuta Steel company.
He disclosed that the company has revamped 55MW power plants, adding that ASCL has the highest quality of machineries when compared with multinational companies.

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