N3bn delaying resuscitation of Ajaokuta coy – Senate

The multi million dollars Ajaokuta Iron and  Steel Project which has been under construction for close to 40 years , may end up a mirage if N3billion is not provided for reactivation of the 21 plants next year , said the Chairman, Senate Committee on Solid Minerals , Mines and Steel Development , Senator Tanko Almakura ( APC Nasarawa South). 

This is as he also lamented that Staffers of the Iron and Steel Complex  working in the Mining Cadastral Office , will not be getting their monthly salaries from January next year as the World Bank responsible for that had already informed the country of its pulling out of the gesture from January 2021. 

Senator Almakura who made the lamentations to journalists in Abuja Saturday , said the N3billion required to use in facilitating the engagement of experts from Russia for reactivation of the 21 plants in the Iron and Steel Complex , is not included in the 2021 budget earmarked for the Ministry Mines, Steel and Solid Minerals .

He said he had made a presentation to that effect to the Senate Committee on Appropriation during presentation of the 2021 budget estimates of the Ministry to the committee on Thursday last week.

According to him , the remarks made by  the Committee led by Senator Jibrin Barau ( APC Kano North) for provision of the money in the final report on  the 2021 budget, was not ensuring enough .

“Nigeria has spent a lot on the Ajaokuta project to allow just N3billion to make her decades old efforts a mirage .

 “Resuscitation of Ajaokuta is key to Industrialization and development of the country . The Mines , Steel and Solid Minerals Ministry appealed to us during budget defence , to effect Appropriation for the N3billion”, he said.

On staffers who may not be collecting their salaries from next year January , Senator Almakura explained that they are contract staff working at the Mining Cadastral office of the Complex and whose monthly salaries have been footed in the past years , from interventions from the world Bank which had notified the country that it will stop that gesture after December this year .

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