The Federal Government and the National Assembly, NASS, Thursday, resolved to synergize and make Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, ASCL, and National Iron Ore Mining Company, NIOMCO, Itakpe, work in order to position the economy on the path of industrialization.
The resolve was made by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development represented by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite and Senate, represented by the Leader of the Senate, Sen Yahaya Abdullahi, during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja, while on a tour of Ajaokuta Steel Company and National Iron Ore Mining Company.
Other members of the Senate delegation include Senate Minority Leader, Sen Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senate Committee Chairman on Mining and Metallurgy, Sen Umar Tanko Al-makura, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Mining and Metallurgy, Sen Oriolowo Adeyemi, Sen Yakubu Oseni.
While the Minister’s delegation includes Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, and others.
Adegbite said, “Ajaokuta and NIOMCO Itakpe are like ‘Siamese Twin’, which cannot be separated. If Ajaokuta is fixed today, it will offer over 10, 000 employment opportunities directly. That is apart from the employments it will generate indirectly from other associated ventures thereat.”
He also maintained that the government will ensure that Ajaokuta comes alive and functioning based on the effort put in place by the Buhari-led government.
He further stated that Ajaokuta Steel Company will activate the downstream subsector that would lead to the long-awaited industrialization of the economy.
According to the Minister Russians who have undertaken to come and complete Ajaokuta Steel Company will soon be in Nigeria to audit the company as soon as international airspace is reopened and the COVID-19 protocols are eased further.
In his remarks, the Senate Leader, Sen Yahaya Abdullahi said the essence of their visit to Ajaokuta Steel Company and NIOCO is to see what is on the ground, and also to get first-hand information that would enable them to assist the federal government to actualize the effort of the federal government on Ajaokuta Steel Company, which also wake-up other allied industries, and also it is part of their oversight function to monitor what will be happening in Ajaokuta and Itakpe.
“All of us are aware of the efforts being put in place by the federal government to revive Ajaokuta.
“Ajaokuta is a place that if visited by anyone, he or she would shed tears, but there is hope now going by what is being done.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid Minerals and Metallurgy and immediate past Governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Tanko Almakura, expressed the readiness of the National Assembly (NASS) to cooperate with the executive in making Ajaokuta work.
“This committee is robust and it is a representation of the Senate and deemed it fit to visit Ajaokuta Steel Company and NIOMCO, which are dear to us. So we are here to see the challenges, prospects, and efforts that have been put in place to reactivate this industry and solutions”, he stated.
Also speaking the Kogi State Deputy Governor, Edward Onoja, who received the visiting teams on behalf of Governor Yahaya Bello, said the state is endowed with various solid minerals of which only a little has been tapped, urging willing local and international investors to come to the state and invest in any minerals of their choice.