Group Alleges Fresh Plan to Concession Ajaokuta, Itakpe

A civil society group, Social Integrity Network (SINET), has asked Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to set up a committee to look at the ongoing plan to concession Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and Itakpe Iron Ore Company.

In a communique after an emergency meeting in Jos, Plateau State, yesterday, SINET urged the Senate president to ensure the process is halted, reversed and handed over to the incoming administration for proper scrutiny and consideration for national interest.

The communique was signed SINET’s National Coordinator, Ibrahim Issah.

The group said its action was predicated on some newspaper advertorials calling for bids for the concession of the two assets.

According to SINET, the concession of national heritages such as National Iron Ore Company Limited, Itakpe, and Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited should be subjected to thorough legislative processes and contributions from major stakeholders, including the Manufacturers of Association of Nigeria, within “a considerable time frame.

“There is need for the leadership of the National Assembly, civil society organisations, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to quickly intervene and order immediate reversal of the process in the interest of over 200 million Nigerians.

“Failure to do this is tantamount to the fact that Nigeria is sitting on the keg of gunpowder and only waiting to explode.

“Its explosion will, no doubt, set the economy of Nigeria backward geometrically and further create some unforeseen consequential repercussions for the incoming administration amidst numerous campaign promises, high determination to deliver as well as high expectations from the electorate,” the group said.

The group, however, commended the Federal Government for settling the long-standing contractual dispute with a foreign investor group in the steel industry, by securing a reduction of claims from $5.258 billion to $496 million.

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