A Human Rights Activist, Chief Haruna Ahmed Osike has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow the giant steel industry situated in Kogi state to die , saying the government has committed huge investment into the project.
Osike who made the appeal in Lokoja, Tuesday while interacting with newsmen on the need for the resuscitation of the steel complex , said aside the over 5 billion dollars expended on the project, Ajaokuta steel plant has other valuable features that should not be allowed to waste or die.
According to him “No body in this country that has the opportunity of visiting Ajaokuta Steel Company to see investments of more than $5 billion wasting and would not cry.
“Many prominent Nigerians including myself who visited the integrated plant cried because of the moribund nature of the plant and the potential abound which the country could not utilise for the benefit of Nigerians.
“Ajaokuta Steel plant aside the 68 kilometers of road network , has 24 housing estates, some completed while many are uncompleted and abandoned in the bush
“Painfully some of the estates have over 1,000 flats ranging from three and two bed rooms. The steel plant also has a seaport, a 110 mega watts power generation plant and 43 separate plants. It is estimated that if Ajaokuta becomes operational, it will create 500, 000 jobs including subsidiary industries that will evolve.
“With all these effort put in place by the federal government , how can such giant steel project be allowed to remain moribund for decades”
Chief Osike who disclosed that , available records shows that the country imported steel, aluminum products worth about $4.5 billion per annum , appealed to the federal government not to relent in their effort to rescue the plant from total decay.