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Reps Oppose Ajaokuta Steel Firm’s Concession, Seek Project’s Completion

The House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted two bills seeking to prevent the concessioning of Ajaokuta steel company by the Executive and voted for the completion of the multi-billion Naira comatose plant.

The bills namely, ‘An Act To Provide For The Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund’ and ‘A Bill For An Act To Amend The Public Enterprise Privatisation And Commercialisation Act’ were each sponsored by 301 lawmakers and introduced for first reading on Wednesday, March 21.

The bills were then passed for second reading on Thursday, March 22 and subsequently referred to the committee of whole House.

When the committee’s report on the Ajaokuta bill was considered during plenary on Wednesday, the lawmakers resolved to use one billion dollars from the Federal Government’s share in the Excess Crude Account for the completion of the company.

This is even as the legislators also resolved that the money should be applied by the Minister of Steel and Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, only for purposes of the steel company’s completion, and as approved by National Assembly.

It would be recalled that there had been a lingering controversy surrounding the Ajaokuta Steel Company,

The lawmakers had earlier asked President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Minister to stop the process of the concession.

The bill seeking amendments in the Privatisation Act sought to remove the steel plant from the list of public assets which the Federal Government had powers to privatise or concession.

The legislators also seeks the stripping of the National Council on Privatisation of  powers which currently make it the only body deciding on the privatization of public enterprises.

Both bills were unanimously adopted by the members when their adoption or otherwise was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.

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