By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
As the debate on Ajaokuta Steel Company limited continues, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said theministry has not contracted any transactional adviser for the concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel Company, as wrongly asserted by the House.
In a statement to LEADERSHIP Weekend, titled ‘response to media enquiries on the House of Representatives’ debate on March 15th, 2018’, signed by the special adviser (media) to the minister, Olayinka Oyebode, it said “the statement became necessary in order to set the record straight for the sake of the general public and the investing community.”
The statement read, “The attention of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has been drawn to the debate by Members of the House of Representatives on the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, where the House adopted a resolution to stop the planned concessioning of the steel company”
It noted that, “Whilst the Ministers are convinced the Honourable members mean well as patriots concerned about an important national asset, it is also a fact that they have grossly misunderstood the Ministers and other stakeholders working with the Ministry on this exercise”.
The statement stated that, “The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, has not contracted any transactional adviser for the concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel Company, as wrongly asserted by the House”
It added that the process for the appointment of a Transactional Adviser is on, but cannot be completed until it gets the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
It further noted that the Ministry has not spent a dime from the N2, 096,500.00 appropriated by the House for the concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel Company (in the 2017 Appropriation Law), noting that the mediation process that led to the amicable settlement of the legal encumbrances on Ajaokuta Steel Complex, has not ended.
There are still a few more steps to be taken as outlined in the terms of (out of court) settlement. And the Ministry is following up on this.
The Ministry further noted that it is also important to declare that no one has been hired, stating that “We find it rather worrisome that the House of Representatives could devote an entire day to an issue that has not even arisen.”
They maintained that the Ministry remains committed to making Ajaokuta Steel Plant function effectively, convinced that steel remains the most important engineering material and backbone of industrialisation in any economy.
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