We won’t spend money on Ajaokuta again – FG

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The Federal Government on Thursday said it would not repeat the mistake of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration on the Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Kogi State.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who stated this at a press conference in Abuja, also said the present administration would not spend any money to complete the steel plant.

Fayemi stated that the Federal Government had sunk over $8bn into the project since 1979 without any result.

The minister stated that no fewer than 14 organisations from different countries had since 2016 indicated interest in the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.

He said, “We have also said to them that we are not going to repeat the mistake of the Obasanjo administration. We will not undertake the re-concession without one, a technical audit; two, a transaction advisory service that will look into all these and advise us accordingly as to who really has the technical capacity, the financial wherewithal and the track record to really bring Ajaokuta back to life.

“However, the government took a principled position on one thing: that Nigeria will not spend one dollar on the so-called completion of the Ajaokuta steel plant. The reason for that is very simple; today from our record, we have spent close to $8bn since 1979 when this process started and we have not seen the result.”

The minister added that the government and the House of Representatives agreed on the concession of the plant and that the House approved the sum of N2bn for the purpose in 2017.

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