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Buhari justifies investments made on ASC

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By Usman Oladimeji

Beneficial gain of the project outweighs the investment -Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari has made a justifying assertion on the $400 million spent to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASC) saying that “it was well spent”. Buhari further argues that the beneficial gain of the project to the country far outweighs the Investment. The President, who stated this in Okene, Kogi State, during a town hall meeting at the renovated Ohinoyi of Ebiraland’s Palace, also declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has delivered on the promises it made to Nigerians at all levels.

Nigeria’s President continued by saying that his administration prides itself in the fulfilment of its electoral promises to the people both at the national and subnational levels. He said the administration has proven its stewardship to Kogi State with the array of legacy projects carried out through the state government. According to the president the APC administration has built a strong foot in Kogi state with various significant projects carried out. Among the many projects executed by the Federal Government are the Itakpe to Okene by-pass, Obajana to Kabba concrete road built by Dangote Industries Limited under our ‘Roads for Taxes Initiative’ (Executive Order 7) and the Itakpe to Warri railway service,” he told his audience.

The Ajaokuta Steel Company project is a top priority for the government.

Moreover, President Buhari made it known that his administration is working to transform Kogi state into an investment center through the activation of solid minerals in the state, particularly, the iron and steel sector. He explained that the Ajaokuta Steel Company project is a top priority for the government despite the fact that it was already in shambles when the administration entered office. The president stressed that the locally and internally dispute in the company has been resolved through the administration’s concerted effort and with some amount paid out.

Accordingly, he said the company is ready for concession to competent private Investors that will operationalize it for the benefit of the people of Kogi state and the country in general. He disclosed that the Federal Government is in talks with a competent and reputable United States-based company, which he hopes will materialize and the company will come back on stream. The beneficial gain of bringing Ajaokuta Steel Company back to life is enormous as it contributes to the Unemployment rate by generating more than 500,000 jobs for youth and over $1.6 billion for the state and country annually.

Project developments will improve the country’s economic activities.

The president assures the public that his administration strives to ascertain logical conclusions on the steel company issue before leaving office. He reiterated that commissioning of the projects is in realization of his campaign promises to Kogi people. He said the state governor Yahaya Bello has briefed him about numerous projects he has carried out for the people in the state such as the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) at Osara; Rice Mill in Ejiba; hospitals in Idah, Kabba and Okene, roads constructed in the three senatorial districts and GYB Model Secondary Schools.

Additionally, in Lokoja, there is a flyover project, the first of its kind in Kogi. The AKK gas Pipeline that will be completed next year is planned also within the state. President Buhari emphasized that the project developments will improve the country’s economic activities and also have a multiplier effect on the people of the state. He further commended the governor’s performance in the area of Security and project execution. On the other hand, the president urges the people of the state to give him their support in order to accomplish more dividends of democracy and achieve Peace and development of the state.

Concession plans for Ajaokuta Steel Complex are ongoing.

In his statement, Bello, said the President’s visit to commission projects in the state was historic in the lives of Kogi people. Meanwhile, concession plans for Ajaokuta Steel Complex are ongoing. To this end, a transaction adviser has been appointed to concession the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe. The selection process is ongoing. All efforts are to break the jinx and actualize the dream of a vibrant steel sector.


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