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Natasha Akpoti, House Of Reps presents The Acquisition Plots Ajaokuta Steel Company

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Natasha also claimed that Russian former president, Vladimir Putin wrote the Nigerian government on how to modernize and complete the Ajaokuta complex, but key Nigerian actors have been silent on the offer because of their personal interest in the steel company.

She also recalled how Ajaokuta and another Iron Ore Company, Itakpe were concessioned to a private company, Global Infrastructure Holding Limited, which later metamorphosed to Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited. According to her, GINL had at many times contributed to the decay of the steel company, which is why the steel company is still moribund today.

Natasha also explained how late president Umar Yar’Adua terminated the concession of Ajaokuta and Itakpe steel company to GINL after a committee was set up to find out about the concessioning process and the state of Ajaokuta in 2008.

Natasha also claimed Adoke successfully assisted the company against the country at an Arbitration Court in London where GINL instituted a case against Nigeria for pulling out against concession agreement with it.

“Nigeria was clearly winning the case at the arbitration court, but the former AGF applied for an out of court settlement and ex-President Jonathan granted it. The out of court settlement brought about the re-concession agreement and the terms stated that Itakpe should be given back to GINL because Nigeria owed 525 million dollars.”

Natasha revealed that the millions of dollars Fayemi claimed Nigeria was ordered to pay GINL was conjured by him and not the court.

She also claimed Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi state, also played a role in the swindling of the Nigerian government by ordering Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission to register GINL even when it is clear the company does not have required document.

“We wrote a petition to the registrar general of CAC who was shocked and does not know about the company’s registration and ordered the setting up of a committee to investigate.

“I received a letter a few months after an investigation from the Acting Registrar General of CAC who told me that they have allowed the company to proceed. CAC does not have the right to regularize an illegality. I was told there were orders from above to register the company. I was told Kogi state governor sent a commissioner, Idris Asiwaju and there were pressures from the presidency,” She narrated.

Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, the company which is being used to front the privatization of Ajaokuta partnered with one Ajaokuta Cooking Nigeria Limited, to fully own the company after re-concession has been done, Natasha claimed.

She added that Ajaokuta Cooking Nigeria Limited applied for a registration which was authorized by the Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello in partnership with GINL. Ajaokuta cookings has two directors which are Onochie Ikechukwu who is from Benue state and Ancheba Emmanuel which investigations revealed are both affiliates staffs of GINL.

Natasha also claimed that minor players in the fraudulent scheme are Minister of State for Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Abdul Akaaba Sumaila, and Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.

It will be recalled that the minister were all summoned by members of the House of Representatives, but they failed to appear, stating that they have other official duties to attend to.

The Prospects

If completed, has been estimated that Ajaokuta is capable of generating up to 75,000 direct jobs and one million indirect jobs and this would to a great extent reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.

At least, 10,000 jobs are expected to be employed in the complex.

The steel company is also expected to 5.2 million tonnes of steel, a quantity which is able to push the country into the league of big steel production companies.

Revival Plots

It has been estimated that the country needs a total of $1.21bn to put Ajaokuta steel complex into production.

On her part, Natasha recommended that re-concession of Ajaokuta should be immediately halted and prosecution of GINL for economic crimes, including the arrest and prosecution of all government officials and promoters of GINL indicted of asset stripping.

The House of Representatives and some stakeholders in the sector have also called on the government to terminate its deal with GINL and fully take over the ownership of the company as it can be used to revive the nation’s economy.

Federal Government Insist On Privatization

But the Federal Government has repeatedly faulted the request that it should handover the Ajaokuta Steel Company to a Russian company that began the building of the plant for completion.

Indeed, just as Natasha has been accusing government officials of plotting to acquire the steel plant through the back door, there have also been allegations that her campaign to stop the privatization of the plant is being funded by an Indian group in Nigeria interested in taking over Ajaokuta without going through the necessary process. SOURCE MORE…

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