Nigeria: Ajaokuta Steel - Activist Appeals to Govt to Revive Rolling Mill

18 September 2019

A human rights activist, Mr. Haruna Osike, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revive the Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill in Kogi, saying that government had hugely invested in the project.

Osike made this appeal in Lokoja on Tuesday while speaking with journalists on the need to resuscitate the steel complex.

He said aside from the more than five billion dollars expended on the project, Ajaokuta steel plant had other valuable features that should not be allowed to waste or rot.

"There is nobody in this country that has the opportunity of visiting Ajaokuta Steel Company to see investments of more than five billion dollars wasting and would not cry.

"Many prominent Nigerians including myself, who visited the integrated plant cried because of the moribund nature of the plant and the potential which the country could not utilise for the benefit of Nigerians.

"Ajaokuta steel plant, aside the 68 kilometers of the road network, has 24 housing estates, some completed while many are uncompleted and abandoned in the bush.

"Painfully, some of the estates have more than 1,000 flats ranging from three to two bedrooms in the community that can be beneficial to the people.

"The steel plant also has a seaport, a 110 megawatts power generation plant, and 43 separate plants.

"It is estimated that if Ajaokuta becomes operational, it will create 500,000 jobs including subsidiary industries that will evolve.

"With all these efforts put in place by the Federal Government, how can such a giant steel project be allowed to remain moribund for decades?" Osike queried.

He said that available records showed that the country imported steel, aluminum products worth about $4.5 billion per annum.

Osike called on the Federal Government not to relent in the effort to rescue the plant from total decay, so as to create employment for the youth and also more income for the country.

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