Showing posts with label ajaokuta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ajaokuta. Show all posts

July 5, 2018

Reps Member to FG: Use Abacha Loot to Revive Ajaokuta Steel Company



A lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Mr Hassan Saleh (APC, Benue) has urged the Federal Government against plans to disburse $322 million Abacha loot sent by the Swiss government to vulnerable households in 19 states.

Saleh who spoke sequel to a motion raised by Mr Karimi Sunday (PDP, Kogi) advised the government to rather use the money to revive the Ajaokuta Steel company.

He said the plant will generate millions of jobs for Nigerians.

Speaking earlier, Mr Sunday  frowned at the alleged decision to disburse the money to vulnerable in 19 states of the federation, stressing that the 1999 constitution empowers the legislature to determine how public money should be utilized.

According to him, the Swiss government and the Executive arm cannot decide for Nigeria on how the funds should be used.

The debate continued as members like Mr. Nkem Abonta (PDP, Abia), Mr. Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) separately noted that the use of such money to feed the poor goes contrary to the Parliament’s power of appropriation.

“The National Assembly should wake up and come up with a program that will decide how the Abacha loot be spent”, Mr. Ossai said.

Following further debate, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara put up a voice vote on the matter and the ‘ayes’ had it.

The adhoc committee is expected to report its findings to the House within six weeks for further legislative action.
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June 5, 2018

Imagine: FG Has No Money to Complete Ajaokuta Steel Company – Minister

Members of the House of Representatives and the Minister of State for Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Abubakar Bwari, disagreed on Monday over the fate of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited.

This happened as an ad hoc committee of the House chaired by the Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, opened a public hearing on the troubled steel plant.

The House is against the Federal Government’s plan to give the plant to private investor as a concession and had a running battle with the former Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on the issue.

In March, the House speedily passed two bills in a bid to stop the concession, advising the government to instead complete the plant as a going public asset.

The two bills, sponsored by 301 lawmakers, were, ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund for the Speedy Completion of the Project; and for Related Matters’ and ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act, Cap. P38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Review the List of Enterprises to be Privatised; and for Related Matters’.

But, on Monday, Bwari appeared before the Gbajabiamila committee to defend the government’s decision to give out the plant as a concession.

He said that the government could not complete the plant because it could not afford the cost.

The minister stated, “With concession, the government will not put more money, but will appoint a reputable transaction adviser to move forward. Right now, the government does not have the funds. It is important that we hand it over to those who have the resources.

“The government is even borrowing to run services. That is to tell you that there is no money.”

Bwari added that it would cost the government far above the $500m being reported as the amount required to complete the plant and run it.

He explained that the reported 98 per cent completion frequently quoted had to do with the plant only and did not cover external and pending internal works to be done before production would start.

But, members disagreed with him, saying the problem of the steel firm was the lack of political will by successive governments to complete it.

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June 4, 2018

Ajaokuta Steel: Natasha Akpoti Is Far From Playing Politics With Our Collective Wealth

Ajaokuta Steel: Natasha Akpoti Is Far From Playing Politics With Our Collective Wealth


Virtually there is no good cause one will embark on in the society without people with cynical beliefs reading bad intention to it. On different occasions, people have accused Barrister Natasha Hadiza Akpoti of playing politics when she embarked on philanthropic work; sponsoring 600 pupils she adopted, paying school fee of under graduates and giving support to young entrepreneurs. These same people orchestrated the campaign calling Natasha an opportunist for the the simple crime of fighting for Ajaokuta resuscitation.

As Nelson Mandela of the blessed memory said in one of his speeches after achieving the age-long quest for freedom, “I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies…”

We are not unaware of the divergent opinions of people; the desperate ones who have made it a point of duty to disparage the genuine efforts of Natasha either as a result of hatred, inferiority complex or to win gullible minds for their inordinate ambitions.

Like the Madiba of Africa rightly averred, the media loathe and its like wouldn’t shift the attention from the genuine cause, every human being that ever deared to tread the path of liberation and setting his country to attain her true meaning has been treated in this manner, history is just repeating itself.
Despite all the blackmail and sponsoring of people to distract prominent activists like Kabir Suman, and Medha Patekar in India from delving into politics and be the ideal change they want, they were never disturbed because they knew altering a status quo that benefits the greedy few is never an easy task. Being an activist was never a barrier to them, they were never seasoned politicians, they ventured into politics because they viewed it as the only way to actualise their vision for the society and they were able to alter the age-long tradition.

This forced Professor Trilochan Sastry of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, to contends that, “a functioning democracy needs both people from all walks of life joining politics. Activists know their community’s needs and demands. If they are elected to office, their knowledge and background should inform their positions on issues.”

We wouldn’t forget in a hurry how Kevin de León, president pro tempore of the California State Senate who fought for years on behalf of the Latino community, advocating for the rights of immigrants, the working poor and the environmental quality of their neighborhoods was loathed by media and sponsored people when he attempted to delve into politics. Because he knew what he stood for, he was never deterred. Today, The California great activist has become fierce fighter for his communities in elected office, he is one of the key elected officials who has made California one of the most welcoming states for immigrants and was instrumental in passage of the bill allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses. He is celebrated by his enemies today because he refused to be detracted by the naysayers who think it’s an abomination for activists to delve into politics and be the ideal change they want.

This will be our solace as we anxiously wait for Natasha’s declaration and step into the big shoe knowing that even some of the voiocless people she tries to shout for their voices to be heard will be sponsored to mar the vuvuzela she is using. This wouldn’t slow the pace neither would it derail her from the goal, the pledge mantra is to make no enemy and make people see reasons why societal building should be ahead of our desire, why the best amongst us should be given the opportunity to rule and why greediness, nepotism and favoritism should be shunned and build a country we can be proud of.

– Isah Bala
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May 29, 2018

'Ajaokuta Steel Company Won't Work, Unless Our Angry Ancestor is Appeased'- Host Community

Communities which own the land on which Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCO) is built say the firm cannot take off unless their angry ancestor, egbunu akoko”, is pacified.

The community leaders of Geregu and Ajaokuta, the host  communities in Kogi, expressed the view in interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The Chairman, Geregu Community Association, Alhaji Idris Aliyu, attributed the non-completion of ASCO project to mystical forces arising from the neglect of the communities.

Aliyu said the ancestors were not happy over the level of neglect of the communities by the Federal Government and the operators of ASCO.

“It is not the communities that are preventing the work from being completed, it is the ancestors.

“There is a lady that had a dream two years ago and said she saw one of our ancestors, “egbunu akoko’’.

“Egbunu akoko told her that if the government wants ASCO to be completed, they should go and resettle his people in  Geregu and Ajaokuta .

“My advice is that, let them come back and fulfil most of the promises they made. They should fix our roads and repair the schools.

“Also, the Egbunu Akoko’s house they demolished should be rebuilt.

“Really, our ancestors are not happy over what is happening. The agreement we reached with ASCO when they acquired our lands since 1976 has not been implemented.

“All the promises they made they did not fulfil.

“As you were coming, you saw our road just about two kilometres from the steel plant to Geregu, you saw how rough it is and that is why you used motorbike to get to our palace.

“We have been neglected but we are praying that work should continue in the company, may be they will look into the promises they made to these two communities,” he said.

The community leaders also claimed that the government and administrators of ASCO reneged on the initial agreement of providing employment and development in the communities.

At the Palace of Etsu of Geregu, Mr Suleiman Idris, on behalf of Etsu Haruna Aminu, said the communities had been left to their fate after the takeover of their land.

He said Ajaokuta community had eight families and Geregu had five families who surrendered their land to the Federal Government for the building of the company.

The Etsu said that the government, upon taking over the land promised to compensate the people and provide them basic amenities but that had not happened.

“Since the construction of ASCO, we have been left behind, nothing has been done for the communities.

“You can see the palace of the Etsu compared to other palaces. It is in a deplorable state.

“No employment for our youths. Most of them are graduates and they are at home because they are not being given priority in terms of employment.

“Also, there are no infrastructure and social development provided by the company for the communities,” he said.

The monarch said part of the land from Ajaokuta was used for the construction of the industrial component of ASCO, while Geregu community provided land for the development of residences.

He said the development of residential houses and the industrial structures on the land had denied the people access to land for farming and other communal activities.

“When you check the environment, everywhere is occupied by private houses and no chance is given to us for our own communal use.

“The Federal Government promised to compensate us but nothing was done.

“Some years ago, the communities and the company went to court. At the end, the High Court in Lokoja said it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case and struck out the case.

“As you can see, there is no physical or social development provided for us by the company,” he said.

Onu of Ajaokuta, Alhaji Kassim Ibrahim, stressed the need for the Federal Government to give recognition to the communities by resettling them and providing them amenities as promised.

According to him, the communities have cooperated with the Federal Government by handing over their lands.

However, Mr Babajide Suru, the General Manager, Engineering Works and Services Department of the company,  described the position of the communities as superstitious.

Suru said such belief held by the people was no longer tenable in a civilised world.

Meanwhile, the Sole Administrator of the company, Mr Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, said the issue of compensation and resettlement of the people would be addressed when the firm became fully functional.

NAN found that the access road to Ajaokuta community is in a deplorable state and the community lacks a modern health facility resulting in the people travelling more than five kilometres to  Geregu for medical care.

The plant, conceived in 1976, was aimed at establishing a metallurgical process plant/engineering complex with other facilities.

It is on 24,000 hectares of land in Ajaokuta,  38km from Lokoja.

The company is meant to generate important upstream and downstream industrial and economic activities that are critical to the industrialisation of Nigeria.

The plant, tagged “Bedrock of Nigeria’s Industrialisation’’, is also designed to produce iron and liquid steel from mines at Itakpe, in Kogi, some 52km from Ajaokuta.

The project has achieved over 90 per cent completion.

NAN
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April 11, 2018

'Promises are Cheap, Show Your Capacity,' Natasha Akpoti Chides Politicians Using Ajaokuta as Manifesto

Natasha Akpoti

Ajaokuta Steel Company resuscitation frontliner, Natasha Akpoti has advised politicians using the moribund state of the company as political campaigns to show their worth. 

 
Akpoti gave the advice in a statement posted on her facebook page on Wednesday. 
This is in the wake of her revelations on factors crippling revival efforts during a sectoral debate considered to be a proactive intervention by the House of Representatives.

She said she has been invited to an investigation scheduled to commence on Thursday 12th April, 2018.
  
"Upon the March 1st 2018 exposé made at the Fed. House of Reps sectoral debate on Ajaokuta Steel Company; an investigation committee was set up to look into the critical issues raised. Committee is headed by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
"All those using Ajaokuta’s revival as campaign gimmicks should participate to show the good people their capacity. Promises are cheap," she said.
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March 31, 2018

Ajaokuta Steel Company; The Tales of an Ailing Giant. - NAES in ABU Zaria.

Ajaokuta Steel Company; The Tales of an Ailing Giant. - NAES in ABU Zaria.

A PRESENTATION BY YAHAYA MUHAMAD IZZUDDEEN(MrDeen) EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT(ATTAH),IGALA STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (ISA) AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA AT SYMPOSIUM ORGANISED BY EBIRA STUDENTS ON 31st  MARCH 2018.


Topic: Ajaokuta Steel Company; The Tales of an Ailing Giant.

The President of National Association of Kogi state Students, the President National Association of okun Students,all the executives present,all members of (ISA) present and my fellow kogites. Nyene, Eka-oro, MewOla-Odudu meaning good morning all.It is a great previlage to stand in front of you this morning to discuss a topic worthy of discussion, a topic that is worrying, a topic that can be  discussed in short period but will continue to linger  in our mind if solution is proper. 

We have a problem with Kogi economy because of the fact that policies are formulated  but the zeal to implement these policies are lacking in our systems, Kogi state government has succeeded in doing nothing and the Federal government is doing the same.

Ajaokuta steel company has the capacity to Carter for the country's needs but this Industry has been neglected due to political, social and economic factors which is negatively affecting kogi and the country Nigeria. The establishment of this company to it's completion in 1994 has 1.3 million per annul, if  there was a continuation will yield 2.6 million tons and further to 5.2 million. 

It has a capacity to power the Factory, power the state Kogi and nearby state Edo state with 110MW  as at then.It has the ability to increase the GDP of the country to 1.7 million. This company has the ability to offer 10,000 personnel and  2 million direct jobs as at then.My fellow Kogites the country needs to revive this company for the growth and development of our our nation. 

Reviving this company means you are increasing national income,higher standard of living, economic stability, Balance of payment, progress in order sectors and also lessened pressure on our fertile land.permit me to reinstate that the  way forward out of the current economic downtown is diversification through industrialization, Ajaokuta steel is the solution.It is now our duties to articulate the need for the federal government to revive Ajaokuta mill for the betterment of the country. Thanks for Reading.

Reporting: Shehu Teslimat, PRO for The president, Yahaya Muhammad Izzuddeen.
Broadcaster: Yakubu Binuyaminu Adeiza. Ebiraland Media Boss
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February 2, 2018

Ajaokuta Chairmanship Aspirant Set To Tour Wards

Ajaokuta Chairmanship Aspirant Set To Tour Wards

Ahead of Kogi State council polls, Ajaokuta local government council chairmanship aspirant, Hon. Abdulrahman Dansabe has announced that his team will soon embark on a ward to ward tour of the local government.

Briefing newsmen in Lokoja on Friday, Dansabe said his team will visit the leadership of the ruling All progressives Congress (APC) in all the wards in Ajaokuta local government.

He noted that the tour will enable him consult widely with stakeholders of his party.

“As a grassroot politician, there is need to meet our party executives and the people at the grassroot to intimate them about the forthcoming council poll and the ongoing registration exercise.

“The tour will begin in February and will last for 30days. I will be physically present throughout the tour.

“I have been in touch with my people over the years but this tour will further help help make my vision clear to party leaders and members,” he said.
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January 31, 2018

Ajaokuta Iron, Steel May Not Work Anytime Soon – Minister

Minister of Solid Minerals, Mines and Steel, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has explained that Ajaokuta Iron and Steel situated in Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, may not work anytime soon contrary to expectations of Nigerians.

He stated this during the joint budget defense of the Senate and House of Representatives on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy in Abuja.

Fayemi who appeared with heads of Parastatals under his ministry noted that the current administration has made tremendous achievements in repositioning mines and Steel sector, but regretted that Ajaokuta was still bound by legal hiccups.

While answering questions on the specific time the Ajaokuta would work, he said: “Distinguished, I cannot answer this question with precision until the London Court of Arbitration has fully discharged the case out of court.”

The Minister also said the Federal government has sought out of court settlement between it and the concessionaire, saying it was been withdrawn gradually.

He regretted that for legal reasons, about 110 megawatts electricity which was capable of electrifying the entire Kogi State was unutilised.

Member of the Committee, Senator Sabi Abdullahi expressed discontent with the budget performance of the ministry for 2017, saying, the release of capital Budget was delayed.

Credits: DailyPost 
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December 1, 2017

Ajaokuta Steel Company to Create 500,000 Jobs - FG

Ajaokuta Steel Company to Create 500,000 Jobs - FG

Image result for Ajaokuta Steel Company
The first phase of Ajaokuta Steel Company will provide 500,000 upstream and downstream jobs when operational, the Federal Government has said.

The company’s Sole Administrator, Mr. Isah Onobere, made this known during a media tour of the company, last week.

Onobere said the first phase of the plant would also provide direct employment for 10,000 technical staff.

He also said the first phase had been completed, adding that it was envisaged to produce 1.3 million tonnes of liquid steel yearly.

Onobere said it would cost $400 million to complete Ajaokuta Steel, which had reached 98 per cent completion.

According to him, $2 billion is needed for infrastructure rehabilitation and operational cost.

Onobere said the government had begun to commit resources toward the maintenance and preservation of the plant’s equipment and facilities. He, therefore, called for improved efforts.

According to him, the government is considering various options on the way forward for the project’s completion, which includes outright sale, concession and joint venture.

He, however, denied rumours that the company’s equipment were obsolete, adding that the company can stand the test of time as all its equipment are functioning appropriately.
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October 1, 2017

Nigeria @57: Okino Congratulates Ajaokuta People

Nigeria @57: Okino Congratulates Ajaokuta People

The former executive chairman of Ajaokuta local government, Hon. Aloysius Okino has congratulated the people of his aconstituency, as the country celebrates 57 years of independence today.
 
The former ALGON Chairman, who made this known through his media aide, James Mohammed, on Sunday, equally congratulated Engr. Ismaila Abdul Akaaba, the newly appointed Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Company.
 
He prayed that God will guide, protect and grant him wisdom to pilot the affairs of the company.
Hon. Aloysius noted that, although the people of the area are yet to experience the positive change preached by the government of the All Progressive Change (APC) before assuming office, but all hope is not lost as the distinguished Senator representing Kogi Central Senatorial District, Senator Ahmed Salau Ogembe elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is ever ready to put smiles on the faces of the people he is representing.
 
He highlighted some of the achievements of the senator so far which include raising motion and setting up committee for the resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Company; aiding about 6 Kogi Central Youths into the Nigeria Police Force, aiding some other youths in the ongoing Airforce recruitment exercise; empowering youths and women in the area with motorbikes, grinding machines, sewing machines to mention but a few.
 
The former Chairman urged every citizen of the area to always maintain peace regardless of the diversity.
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September 25, 2017

Nigerian Police, GINL Sued N1Trillion Over Ogaminana 2008 Killing In Ajaokuta

Nigerian Police, GINL Sued N1Trillion Over Ogaminana 2008 Killing In Ajaokuta

The Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Kogi state and Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited have been dragged to court for 1 trillion naira damages with respect to their involvement in the 2008 Ogaminana killings.
 
It will be recalled that on the 26th of February 2008, the fundamental rights of the people of Ogaminana in Kogi State was violated through a reprisal attack by the Nigerian Police Force which led to extra-judicial killings and destruction of properties.
 
This occurrence was as a result of the stoppage of GINL theft of materials and equipments by the concerned youths of Ogaminana.
 
The attack led to the killing of 50 Nigerian innocent citizens, destruction by burning and razing down of over one hundred (100) houses, more than twenty (20) vehicles, and rendering over four thousand  (4,000) people homeless.
 
These were carried out by the agent/officers of the Inspector-General of Police and the Kogi State Commissioner of Police in collaboration with Global Steel Holdings Limited (GSHL) and Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (GINL).
 
Relying on section 33(1), 40, 43, and 46(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Articles 3(2), 4, 11 and 14 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights,  Barr. Natasha Akpoti and Barr. Suleiman Abdulraheem via suit FHC/ABJ/CS/981/17 on behalf of the murdered Nigerian citizens and those whose properties were destroyed, have instituted legal actions against the Nigerian Police and GINL demanding damages of One Trillion Naira (1,000,000,000,000) for their unlawful, illegal and extra-judicial killings in the Ogaminana massacre.
 
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September 19, 2017

Kidnappers Kill Expatriate, Policeman, One Other in Ajaokuta

Suspected kidnappers have killed an expatriate, a policeman and one other person along the Lokoja- Ajaokuta road during a failed attempt to abduct the expatriate.

The incident, which was said to have happened on Sunday morning, also saw another policeman seriously wounded in the attack.
Newsmen gathered that the expatriate, a Chinese, was a management staff of the West African Ceramic Company, located in Ajaokuta, Kogi state.
It was gathered that the unidentified Chinese was in company of the two security men, who were ensuring his safety when the kidnappers struck.
The fully armed kidnappers were said to have abruptly stopped the vehicle in which the people were traveling with the aim of abducting the Chinese for ransom.
But the police officers were said to have resisted the attempt, following which they engaged the hoodlums in gun duel.
They were however overpowered by the hoodlums, who rained bullet on the policemen and their target, killing three of them and wounding one of the policemen.
The hoodlums were said to have fled the scene immediately the kidnapping failed and left the victims in the pool of their blood.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), William Aya, said the people were attacked by kidnappers operating along the Ajaokuta axis.
He however said investigation into the crime had commenced, saying the command was committed to the safety of the people.
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August 14, 2017

Chinese Banks to Commit $250m to NNPC’s Ajaokuta-Kano Gas Line

Chinese Banks to Commit $250m to NNPC’s Ajaokuta-Kano Gas Line

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Saturday disclosed that its Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project, often called the AKK Pipeline Project, would receive a funding boost worth $250 million from Chinese banks.
The corporation also explained that the gas line which would cost it $2.7 billion to execute had achieved a lot of milestones in its contracting process.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated these in a statement from the Group General Manager Public Affairs Division of the corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja, though he did not disclose the identity of the Chinese banks that are willing to do this.
The statement however noted that Baru hosted a delegation of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) which was led by its President, Dada Thomas, when he made these disclosures.
Baru stated that the corporation got the funding window when it recently signed a $1.78 billion alternative financing agreements with International Oil Companies (IOCS) in London, for oil production, adding that the Chinese banks agreed to contribute $250 million towards the gas line projects.
He equally disclosed that the Chinese banks had made commitments to bring in as much money as might be needed to finance oil and gas investments in Nigeria.
According to him, the NNPC has opted to use the Public Private Partnership (PPP) financing framework to execute the gas line project, and that the corporation’s recent gradual exit from Joint Venture (JV) Cash Call regime would free up a lot of money for the project under this framework.
“We have gone far with the development of the project using the same paradigm shift of Public Private Partnership (PPP) financing. We have also gone far with the contracting process, part of which is to ensure that money meant for the project is raised from the private investors,” Baru, was quoted to have said in the statement.
He explained that the feat recorded in the project would bring to the fore, a new dimension in gas projects execution in the country, noting that it would equally signal a regime of private investors funding for such projects.
“On that occasion, I did challenge the Chinese banks that since they have now come on board, they should move from the back seat to the driver’s seat and they gave me their commitment that they have plans to bring in as much money as we need to execute our projects. And if the Chinese tell you that they are going do it, definitely they will do it and we will give them a run for their money,” he added.
He explained that the corporation would continue to support the federal government’s aspiration to increase Nigeria’s electricity generation to 10,000 megawatts (MW), with improved gas generation and distribution nationwide. 
The recent debt settlement for arrears of JV cash call obligations by the corporation, he stated, would have great impact on the gas industry because the initiative was capable of freeing some dedicated funds that could be used to develop the sector.
“We have the aspiration of government to raise power generation to at least 10GW capacity, not just 10GW in terms of installed capacity, but one that will be steady in the grid by 2020. All these will drive our activities to ensure that the gas business is expanded and government’s aspiration to earn as much revenue from gas as oil will definitely be realised,” he stated.
Baru, said the current efforts to connect the eastern part of the country, where there are lots of gas reserves, with the west, where high consumption demand exists, showed that the NNPC is ready help the country’s power sector grow.
He said the NNPC would make inputs into the National Gas Policy recently adopted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as well as the fiscal bills on gas being worked out by the legislature, with the view to prioritising gas.
The statement equally noted that Thomas, in his remarks applauded Baru for the numerous initiatives he said NNPC has taken, and which had attracted NGA’s attention.
“We would like to congratulate the NNPC on a number of paradigm shifts, changes and initiatives it had brought to the fore in recent times. I am talking about the new alternative funding which you recently signed with Shell and Chevron to the tune of $1.78 billion; the clearing of $400 million debt in April; the progress being made on the ELPS – 2 loop lines and the OB3 gas project, one of the most critical gas pipelines in the country,” Thomas stated.
 
Credit: Thisday
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Why FG Must Revive Ajaokuta Steel Project Now

Why FG Must Revive Ajaokuta Steel Project Now

Ajaokuta Steel Company located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State about 38 km away from Lokoja, the state capital, was established 35 years ago. It was conceived and steadily developed with the vision of erecting a Metallurgical Process Plant Complex with other ancillaries and facilities. The plant was meant to generate important industrial and economic activities that are critical to diversification of the Nigerian economy.
Looking at the intentions behind the establishment, Ajaokuta Steel is therefore tagged the “The Bedrock of Nigeria’s Industrialisation.” But since 1994 when the Federal Government of Nigeria, owner of the plant, stopped funding the completion of the project, the plant has remained at 98 completion status. The rolling plan, for the third decade running, remains tailored towards the reactivation, completion and commissioning of the first of three phases of the project, of  1.3 million tonnes per annum of liquid steel production. The vision 2020:20 economic blueprint document even goes beyond the rolling plan to envisage the actualisation of the third phase of the project – 5.2million tonnes per annum of liquid steel production.

However, the project has had a chequered history occasioned by interplay of forces that have made the integrated commissioning of the Steel plant elusive till date.

According to the Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel, Isah Joseph Onobere, an engineer, “there is so much misconception and misinformation about this project. This is born largely out of ignorance and some orchestrated campaign of calumny against the Nigerian state aimed at ensuring that we remain perpetually a dumping ground for steel products from developed countries.”

Onobere stated this during a 3-day Media Training workshop for Journalists and Reporters designed to cover Steel and Mining Sector, held in Lokoja, recently.

He said that the Ajaokuta Steel Plant (ASP) project is the development of an integrated iron and steel production and engineering works complex embarked upon by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a strategic industry, job creator and foreign exchange earner and with a foresight on industrialisation and diversification of the national economy.

The sole administrator said that among other expectations, the project “would provide materials for infrastructural development technology acquisition, human capacity building, income distribution, regional development and employment generation.”

He also disclosed that the project would directly employ about 10,000 technical staff at the first phase of commissioning;  the upstream, downstream industries and service providers that would evolve all over the nation and would engage not less than 500, 000 employees when fully operational.

According to him, the present management of the company has been working round the clock to see how to put some of the completed facilities into use.  “We currently produce spare parts machines and accessories in our captive shops for industries, organisations and individuals. We also have subsisting MoUs with private investors for the use of our facilities for educational training. The management has also taken action to salvage the Central Technical Archives to ensure the safety of millions of the Steel plant engineering drawings and documents there,” he said.

He also informed that the company, in respect of the above, has so far taken delivery of some important machines for the purpose of electronic storage and retrieval of technical drawing and documents.

This, according to him, is the realisation of over 20-year-old dream. The goal however, is to complete and commission the first phase of the project which is to produce 1.3million tonnes of liquid steel per year, and subsequently work for other stages of its development.

Onobere also disclosed that government has begun to commit resources towards the maintenance and preservation of the equipment and facilities of the plant, adding that this is pending the decision from the appropriate quarters regarding the completion, commissioning and continuous operation of the Steel plant.  He further said that government is currently considering the report on various options on the way forward as advanced by a nominated Transaction Adviser concerning outright sale, concession or involvement of joint ventures.

He urged the journalists to always bring the issue of the project to the front burner in their reportage.
“The Nigerian steel sector qualifies for declaration of national state of emergency by government. Strategic industries like ours cannot be completely left to the vagaries of the private sector alone. This is because there are numerous socio-economic benefits that cannot be quantified in naira and kobo that will accrue from the full blown development of the Steel sector. As members of the fourth estate of the realm, we hope you will serve as the catalyst we seek and need to catapult Nigeria into the league of steel-producing nations,” the sole administrator said.

Akin Omotosho, an engineer, observed that the Russians gave Nigeria the best in Ajaokuta, lamenting, however that successive governments in the country have abandoned the project and left it to rot away, “while our graduates that are supposed to get employed in Ajaokuta are now roaming the streets in search of employment.”

Credits: Victoria Nnakiaike | BusinessDay

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July 29, 2017

Ebira Youths Congress Urges Federal Gov. to Engage Russians to Complete Ajaokuta Company

 
The Ebira Youth Congress in Kogi has appealed to the Federal Government to engage TyazhPromExport (TPE), a Russian company, on bilateral agreement to complete the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company.

Mr Baba Abdulrazak, President General of the congress, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that government should meet with TPE construction company to complete the remaining two per cent work for Ajaokuta to become operational.

He said the TPE company built Ajaokuta steel to its current level, adding that the Russians knew the remaining areas that should be completed.

He said that the company should not only complete the project but government should also concession the steel company to TPE to operate the project after completion for few years.

“The TPE is the original builder of Ajaokuta steel company; it has the requisite technology and manpower to bring the company on board.

” We are not against government reconcessioning the steel company but it should be given to a company that is trust worthy, that has history on steel business, that is why we want government to give the company to TPE,” he said.

In 1979, during the administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, TPE, a leading engineering company, commenced construction works on Ajaokuta steel company Limited which lasted till 1994.

In 1990, as the project approached completion, TPE on monthly bases for 4 years, wrote to the Federal Government reminding it of the need to commence work on the necessary infrastructure needed to successfully operate the steel company.

TPE also suggested the possibility of dredging River Niger which could offer a better and more convenient route of importing raw materials but the then government never yielded to the advice.

He also advised the government to dredge River Niger and construct rail to Ajaokuta to enable easy movement of industrial materials for steel products.
“Government should access loan from a financial home for the construction of rail and for the completion of Ajaokuta steel.”
 
Source Credits: sundiatapost.com
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July 1, 2017

Ajaokuta Steel Not Mature for Privatisation – Stakeholders

The Ajaokuta Steel Company has not yet matured for privatization as doing so without completing the project would amount to selling the company as scrap to buyers.

This is the consensus of stakeholders in the iron and steel sector of the country at a joint press briefing in Abuja yesterday, convened by the African Iron and Steel Association, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), representatives of the host communities and other critical stakeholders in the sector.

Ajaokuta Steel Company
A professor of Extractive Metallurgy and Material Processing, who is also the co-chair of the Iron and Steel Development Committee of the NSE, Prof. David Esezobor, said any attempt to privatize the company would yield no positive result as the government should be more focused on completing the project, providing the supporting infrastructure and commercializing the company for some years before privatizing it.

Esezobor said the stakeholders were against the concession of any steel plant in the country, including the recently signed modified concession agreement for Itakpe Iron Ore Mining Company to Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited.

He the Federal Government to invite the original builders of the Ajaokuta Steel Company to complete the project instead of the attempts at concessions.

The convener of the stakeholders’ forum, Dr. Sanusi Muhammed of the African Iron and Steel Association, said Nigeria needs $1.1 million to complete the Ajaokuta Steel project – about $420m to complete the plant and $500m to complete supporting infrastructures around the plant such as roads.
He said at the moment, 40 units of the plant have been completed, with only three units remaining, which government can complete before privatizing the company.

Dr. Muhammed revealed that a company, Ajaokuta Kogi Nigeria Limited, has been registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to acquire Ajaokuta Steel Company, a development which, he said, the stakeholders were already moving against.

A labor leader, Comrade Issa Aremu, has also backed the position of the stakeholders that government should complete the Ajaokuta project before considering its privatization.

He said Nigeria cannot drive development without industrialization and this can only be possible if the steel sector is developed.

Credit: Daily Trust, Kogireports.

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June 25, 2017

2019: Kogi Central Senate Seat Should Be Reserved for Okehi, Ajaokuta, Ogori-Magongo – Atimah

2019: Kogi Central Senate Seat Should Be Reserved for Okehi, Ajaokuta, Ogori-Magongo – Atimah

Atimah made this call in an exclusive chat with Kogireports.
 
The former council scribe noted that in the political history of the zone, only two out of the five local governments that made up Kogi Central have been presenting them as Senators.
 
He noted that indigenes of the five local governments are all brothers and sisters with strong, unbreakable bond. However, he bemoaned a situation where only Okene and Adavi have produced Senators since the political evolution of Kogi Central to date, saying the trend is unfair to brothers and sisters from Okehi, Ajaokuta and Ogori-Magongo.

Atimah called on Governor Yahaya Bello to use his good office and position to establish a fair and equitable distribution of political slots in Kogi Central.

“Governor Yahaya Bello has proven to the whole world that he is a detribalised Kogi indigene by spreading his appointments and development projects evenly across the three senatorial districts in the state. We call on him to replicate this equitable distribution of political offices in Kogi Central so that all local governments in the district can have a sense of belonging.

“As we approach 2019 general elections, I call on all leaders and stakeholders in Kogi Central to consider the three local governments that have not produced Senator for the seat. This will further strengthen our unity and give sense of belonging to everyone in the district.

“It is time for the Senate seat to leave Okene and Adavi. The next beneficiaries should come from Okehi, Ajaokuta or Ogori-Magongo local government areas.


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June 18, 2017

How Ajaokuta Steel Complex Was Killed, Buried — Ex-General Manager Explain.


Dr. Philip Atanmuo, the erstwhile General Manager/Project Director of the moribund  Ajaokuta Steel Complex, Ajaokuta, Kogi state has revealed how tribal sentiment, corruption and financial recklessness killed both the multi-million naira Ajaokuta and Delta Steel Complex, Aladja, Delta state. Excerpts:

What is the position of Ajaokuta and Aladja at the moment?

Their positions are nothing to write home about. While Aladja is still functioning on a shaky ground, Ajaokuta died a natural death immediately after the government board of directors who were mainly northerners forced me into retirement and replaced me with their anointed son. I came back from the United States of America in 1977 where I studied engineering up to doctorate degree level and obtained many years of working experience. In 1981, I joined Aladja as Acting General Manager but along the line, I discovered that tribal sentiment from government functionaries was weighing down the complex.

I also discovered then that our leaders were not devoted to the people’s welfare. Developed countries do not allow their steel industries to die because it gives them employment, helps them to train people and above all, help them to produce vehicle components and other components.

In the  first place, the Ajaokuta steel complex was originally proposed to be sited in Onitsha, Anambra state but due to ethnic sentiment and political motive, it was moved to Ajaokuta. A steel complex of that nature could be regarded as a school which needed time to break even. We established Aladja first and it went to 10 to 25 percent production capacity.

In Aladja, somebody was supplying us certain quantity of raw materials at a cheaper rate of N600 per ton and after using the material to produce a certain quantity of iron rod, we would sell it at about N1,100. But at a stage, some government officials went and negotiated with someone else to be supplying the same quantity of raw material at a cost of N1,000.

I kicked against it but I was only a lone voice in the wilderness and eventually, the government officials dropped the contractor who supplied us the material at N600 and handed it over to the one who supplied at N1,000. It was when I expressed my disappointment about such a decision that the officials redeployed me to Ajaokuta.

As an obedient servant, I went to Ajaokuta with an open mind and settled down for work. By then, we were importing bloom and working at a low capacity with the expectations that in time to come, we should have 20,000 direct employees and 150,000 or close to 200,000 indirect employees.

Based on such an expectation, I assembled some senior staff and led them on a delegation to General Ibrahim Babangida, the then military President and appealed to him to release at least 1 billion as lifeline for us to expand.

After some persuasions and contacts, Babangida released a cheque of N500 million as part payment and promised to release another N500 million in due course, depending on our efforts to revamp the industry.

To my greatest surprise, the moment I called a meeting and showed the government officials the cheque from Babangida, they collected the cheque from me, retired me instantly and replaced me with someone else. The unfortunate aspect of it all was that they just shared the money after I had left and folded up the company.

Another unfortunate thing was that most of my assistants who were northerners, were fresh graduates. Some of them had only one or two years working experience after the National Youth Service, yet because they were northerners, they were placed on levels 14 to 16 as assistant general managers for each department. To crown it all, they brought some money to my house here after the cheque had cleared and told me it was my own part of the N500 million shared among themselves. But I drove them away with the money and  told them I was not interested in their corruption.

I told them that as Chairman of Governing Council/Pro-chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi and immediate past Dean of Studies, Faculty of Engineering, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, Uli, Anambra state and the incumbent Head of Department of mechanical Engineering, COOU, Uli, I did not need their money to survive, more so, when I was still a pensioner with Ajaokuta.

So, it would have taken about N1 billion as far back as 1992 to put Ajaokuta into full capacity production but now it will take billions upon billions of naira to start from somewhere because for the government to start from somewhere, the dilapidated water supply plant must be resuscitated, trained personnel must be assembled, the corroded electrical switches must be serviced and a lot of other things.

Credit: Vanguard, Kogireports.

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June 14, 2017

Rep. Member Tasks FG on Ajaokuta Steel Completion

Rep. Member Tasks FG on Ajaokuta Steel Completion

The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Steel Development, Hon. Lawal Idirisu has declared that he would continue to lobby the Federal Government to ensure the quick completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company.


Hon. Lawal who spoke to newsmen in Ajaokuta while giving account of his two years stewardship at the National Assembly stated that the giant steel company situated in his constituency has remained moribund for too long.
 
The National Assembly member said, in the last two years, he has raised motions on the need to avoid the sale of the steel company adding that he has also presented a motion on the need for the Federal Government to renegotiate the completion of the Ajaokuta steel with its original builders.
 
Hon. Lawal said the revamping of Itakpe Iron Ore Mining Company, Ajaokuta Steel and the development of steel companies across the country has remained his heart beat since he assumed office in June 2015. He maintained that he will continue to use his political synergy to ensure that the companies are productive in his time.
 
On the dividends of democracy to the electorates of his constituency, the Federal lawmaker said he has carried out free medical care treatment for members of his constituency. He added that he has also given financial assistant to women across the fourteen wards of the local government to enable them embark on any trade of their choice.
 
He further stated that he has successfully used his office to facilitate gainful employment for youths into Navy and Police force.
 
Hon. Lawal thanked the electorate for the support he has continued to enjoy from them. He assured them that he would continue to do his best to lobby for more dividends of democracy from the Federal Government to his constituency in the years ahead.
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