Don’t sell Ajaokuta Steel Company, Ebira people tell FG

The Ebira People’s Association (EPA) has rejected the proposed privatisation of the nation’s premier steel complex, Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, located in Kogi state.

President General of the Association, Dr. Abdulrahman Musa Adeiza, made the position of the association known when he addressed journalists yesterday in Abuja.

According to him, as critical stakeholders in the Ajaokuta steel project, they “will not watch to see the complex sold to incompetent hands because it has suffered from years of neglect by previous
regimes in the country, and, therefore, deserves competent handlers to drive it to completion.”

He said: “As critical stakeholders in the Ajaokuta steel project, it is our opinion that the road to privatisation leads nowhere as experience in our recent history indicates. All previous efforts at
privatisation through concession ended in failures as each of the concessionaires were nothing but corporate undertakers who engaged in massive assets stripping of the 98 per cent completed Ajaokuta steel mill.

“A completed and operational steel mill in Ajaokuta will create industrial hubs with mass job opportunities for Nigerians and wean the nation of scarce foreign exchange. To demonstrate seriousness about the diversification agenda of the current administration will be to
complete the Ajaokuta steel mill.”

Adeiza noted that though the government appeared to speak from “both sides of the mouth concerning the planned sale of the complex,” the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had actually given the indication to that effect when he announced in Bali, Indonesia, during the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group on October 14, 2018, that the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) was working on the sale.

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