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Senate okays N307b for completion of Ajaokuta steel project

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[[FILE] Ajaokuta steel

The Senate has approved $1 billion (about N307 billion) to be spent from the Federal Government share of the Excess Crude Account on the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.

It equally sanctioned that all loans and grants relating to the project be accommodated.

The resolution followed the passage of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill 2018.

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The piece of legislation, which had earlier been passed by the House of Representatives, stated that the funds should be applied by the minister subject to appropriation by the National Assembly.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, said the bill, when become law, would facilitate the completion of the project.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly also adopted the Presidential Programme on Rehabilitation and Reintegration (Establishment and Implementation) Bill 2018.

The document provides legal instrument for implementation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the area of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration.

However, the chamber has been told of how the nation currently owes international oil companies (IOCs) $5.1 billion in the joint venture cash call (JVC) business arrangement.

This comes even as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) denied alleged mismanagement of the $3.2 billion drawn from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividend account from 2015 till date.

Briefing the Committee on Gas, NNPC’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Isiaka Abdulrasaq, noted that the country controls 60 per cent of the business venture while the rest 40 per cent goes to the IOCs.

On the raging $3.2 facility, he dismissed the allegation of financial malfeasance.

According to him, only 13 withdrawals, totalling $1.2 billion, that had been effected.

He regretted that the ‘misinformation’ was making seven multinationals to think of pulling out of the venture.


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