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Groups urge Buhari to order audit of Ajaokuta Steel company, other

By Adaku Onyencuheya
26 November 2021   |   3:00 am
President Muhammadu Buhari has been charged to engage foreign partners to audit Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO)

Ajaokuta Steel Company

President Muhammadu Buhari has been charged to engage foreign partners to audit Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) to reduce unemployment among youths and the citizenry.

The charge was given in a communique issued yesterday at the end of a one-day national conference on the revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and President Muhammadu Buhari Industrialisation Agenda held at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Asokoro, Abuja.

Chairman, African Citizen Development Foundation, Lagos, Dele Ajayi-Smith; State Level Stakeholders, Dr. Idris Jimoh; Next Generation Youth Initiative International, Makurdi, Ambassador Onoja Dauda and VOA Africa Office, Abuja, Hajia Medina Nadabo, signed the communiqué.

The communiqué stated that the delay in the revival of the steel industry spanning over 30 years had caused untold hardship on workers, retirees, youths and women with skills and are trained but not utilised, thereby, increasing redundancy, capacity gaps and unemployment in large scale, crimes and drug abuse among teenagers.

It, therefore, urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the federal roads connecting Lokoja, Ajaokuta, Itakpe, Okene and environs for enhanced social economic activities, adding that the revival of the steel plant will assist greatly in revamping power generation to companies and adjourning states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The event, which was organised by NGO Network, in collaboration with Institute for Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa and CSO Coalition for the Revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company, had the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekun Adegbite; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha; Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, as speakers on various topics.

Others include Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello and Sumaila Abdul-Akaaba.

The speakers observed that there had been a long delay in the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company due to a lack of political will until President Buhari came to power in 2015.

They, therefore, urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency and necessity, consider the inclusion of a representative of civil society organisations in the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team (APPIT) to promote inclusiveness and ownership by the people.

The speakers further stated that the current statutory allocation should be increased in three folds or more to enable it to function effectively.