Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan has not shown enough commitment to steel development in the country.
A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Micheal Jegede, said the senator condemned the zero allocation for capital projects in Ajaokuta Steel Company in the 2014 budget proposal.
The senator was quoted to have made the observation during the budget defence of the Ministry of Mine and Steel, conducted by the Senate Committee on Power and Steel.
He said steel development was the bedrock of industrial revolution, “wondering how the federal government wants to achieve the vision 20:2020 without the full operation of the largest steel complex in the sub-Saharan Africa.
He said: “We spent billions for staff salaries every year, yet we are where we were as far as revitalization of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex and National Iron Ore Mining Company is concerned. Where is the place of Ajaokuta steel in our bid for industrial revolution? Do we seem to understand the important of steel and the significant role it can play in enhancing our economy?
“If you ask me, I will say Mr. President is just paying lip-service to the issue of Ajaokuta steel and steel development in general. When he (Jonathan) came to Lokoja, Kogi State during the electioneering period in 2011, and the truth of his campaign promises for which our people voted for him was his pledge to revive the Ajaokuta steel complex. Over three years down the line, we have not seen much from him in that regard.”