The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development yesterday revealed that over $8 billion has so far been spent on the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited. Speaking at a press briefi ng yesterday in Abuja on brewing tension between the ministry and the House of Representatives which led to a vote of no confidence on the ministers, its minister, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said with the huge expenditure already spent on the project, government was no longer willing to spend more. “Nigeria will not spend $1 on the completion of the so called Ajaokuta.
We have spent $8billion,” he said. Speaking on the level of work still left in the steel corporation, Fayemi cleared: “People will tell you that it is at 98 per cent completion and that it is remaining 2 per cent; it’s all hogwash.” He said a technical audit has been established to ascertain the level of completion and what is required to complete the steel complex, explaining that until that is done, anyone saying anything otherwise is misleading the public.
According to the minister, the technical audit will be completed in six weeks, precisely in April this year. On the vote of no confidence passed on him and his minister of state, Bawa Bwari by the House, Fayemi wondered why the same National Assembly which approved onlyN2, 096, 500, 000 for concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited will be crying wolf on the lingering quagmire. “We requested in 2017 budget and the House approved only N2 billion for the concession of Ajaokuta.
If this same National Assembly passed this law and we are trying to implement the law, what is our offence?” Fayemi said, “It is surprising that the Speaker will be bent on attacking this ministry, stressing that “the position of this government is very clear and it has nothing to do with me as minister but the government’s decision that we will give the Ajaokuta to only those that have participated. “Since 2016 we have seen 14 interests in the Ajaokuta steel plant,” he said.