The member of Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Mohammed Lawal Idris has hailed President Buhari on his determination to resuscitate Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill, describing it heart of Nigerian development
Hon. Idris made the statement in Abujai on Wednesday in Abuja while reacting to the recent concluded arrangement to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Russian firm with a view to making the country self-sufficient in steel production.
His words: “I am a happy man and a proud member of All Progressives Congress. I say so because we are changing this country for the better. The latest is the resolve of the President Mohammadu Buhari to resuscitate Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill with the signing of MoU with Russian Firm at the beginning of the year 2020.
“I commend President Buhari for his leadership. Never have we had such a patriotic and incorruptible President who is determined to take our country to its rightful place in the comity of nations.
“Again, to realise and Industrialised Nigeria, power and energy are of great importance. Today, Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project will soon get off ground. And of course the value chain is huge with the employment opportunities that it will create for our teaming youths and some of our Engineers and other professionals.
“This is another strategic move by the present Buhari led Government to position the country for industrialisation and power generation. Of course this is also a smart move to curtail gas flaring and reduced depletion of ozone layer.”
He therefore urged the people of Ajaokuta and Kogi State in general to continue give their unwavering support to President Buhari and Governor Yahaya Bello, assuring them of better deal.
Recall that Construction of Ajaokuta Steel Co. began in 1979 with assistance from the then-Soviet Union, but the facility never started production and has sucked up $8 billion of public money. Repeated attempts to revive the flagship project by transferring it to private investors failed and the government terminated the concessions.
Meanwhile Russian engineering and construction group MetProm is billed to undertake the necessary work to bring the facility into operation, financed by the state-owned Russian Export Center JSC and the Cairo-based African Export-Import Bank, Mines & Steel Development Minister Olamilekan Adegbite had revealed in an interview he granted to newsmen.
According to Hon. Idris, Ajaokuta Rolling Steel Mill expected output would to a large extent help in realizing President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to diversify the economy, with a view to solving the problem of monoculture and sole reliance on oil.
Meanwhile Ajaokuta was designed to produce as much as 3 million metric tons of steel a year, an expectation if achieved would have largely eliminated the need for imports.