The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi has said the federal government will only concession the Ajaokuta steel company when an independent and verifiable technical audit is completed to ascertain the level which the project is currently on.
In a press briefing yesterday, Fayemi said that Nigeria has spent $8 billion from the commencement of the project in 1979 which is why the federal government will not make any mistake of its predecessors in the process of concession.
He said about 14 steel companies from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other steel companies that have indicted interest in bidding for the revival of the steel plant, but have been asked to wait until the Independent audit is completed which was part of agreement the ministry has entered.
“On August 4th 2016, we signed a modified Consensus Agreement with Global Infrastructure Holding Company in the aspect of ownership and auditing of the project which will be ready in the next six weeks so as to make the path clear from the controversies surrounding the steel that arose from the Obasanjo’s administration which concessioned it and the Yar’adua administration that revoked the concession of the Ajaokuta steel,” he said
Fayemi said the vote of no confidence passed on him and the minister of state, for mines and steel development Abubakar Bawa Bwari by the House of Representatives and the subsequent attacks by some members of the house after visiting Ajaokuta steel and for not attending a sectorial debate in the house during plenary was unfair as there was a substantial reason for not attending.
“The attack on myself and my colleague regarding the Ajaokuta steel by the House of Representatives members is frankly unwarranted and uncalled for as the same national assembly that approved N2 billion for us in 2017 budget to implement the concessionary process are now attacking and passing a vote of no confidence on us. What is our offense please?, “ he added.
He added that the invitation was the fourth they were honouring as they had previously attended the committee hearing on Ethics, Privileges and Public Complaints as well as that of privatization by the upper and lower chambers, adding that a clear explanation was written concerning their absence as he was the lead minister for the ERGP focus labs while his state counterpart was in Canada attending a steel conference.