Make Ajaokuta Steel Company functional, APBN tells FG

The Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria has urged the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development to make the Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State to be in good working condition before it will give it out as concession to the private investors.

The association also commended the House of Representatives over the steps taken so far on the steel company, but expressed dissatisfaction with the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government on the project.

The National President, APBN, Dr. Idris Omede, who spoke at the presidential retreat of the association in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Friday, said the body, which has 30 different professional bodies as members, had offered several professional advice to the government on the steel company but the advice was never taken.

He noted that the APBN members had the professional competence to advise the government on policies, planning and implementation of critical decisions, and had been doing so.

Omede stated, “The government attention to and achievement in agriculture should be sustained, while there should be a renewed, progressive and proactive interest by the Federal Government in the Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State.

“The recent expositions and revelations by a patriotic female Nigerian lawyer before the National Assembly on wrong handling of Ajaokuta Steel Company since its establishment and recommendation to right the wrongs and the overt zeal of members of the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives, to address this is applauded.

“We encourage and plead with the National Assembly to address the issues promptly and adequately for the executive arm’s attention. It must not be swept under the carpet for any reason. The executive arm of government must be fair, just and up in toeing the part of honour to give Nigeria the steel company as a government concern primarily.”

While calling on stakeholders to ensure that the steel firm was made functional before concession to private investors, the APBN president said if Ajaokuta Steel Company was well harnessed and put into use, a lot of jobs would be created for the citizens of the country.