Bukola Saraki has stated that in the first year of his government he will resolve the 40-year-old Ajaokuta steel issue which is crucial to enabling local Nigerian industries to grow.
This was stated by Saraki, a presidential aspirant under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday in a meeting with Kogi PDP national delegates in Lokoja, according to NAN.
The Federal Government has been sorting for a final solution for the steel project, recently denying handing over the Ajaokuta Steel plant to a British firm for rehabilitation.
The former Senate President stated that if elected, ”In the first one year of my government, resolving the issue of Ajaokuta will be our number one priority because it is crucial to Nigeria’s economy, as well as mining and agricultural sectors.”
”These are the sectors that could easily help our local industries to grow, our economy is too dependent on oil which is not too good for us.
”So, the steel will be my social contract with Nigeria if I am elected as president.
”I can assure and promise the people of Kogi State that getting Ajaokuta steel properly running is a major priority.
He added that he does not see why it should take seven years to resolve the Ajaokuta issue. He said that as president, he will take charge, bring all the parties together, come up with a lasting solution that will get Ajaokuta up and running.
On insecurity, he added that technology would be beneficial for the insecurity Nigeria is currently facing.
”We must have collaborative intelligence, bring technology into play and ensure that people are held accountable.
”We believe that security is a priority and definitely we will end banditry, we will also ensure we put an end to kidnappings through technology and intelligence sharing, and more importantly we must professionalise the security agencies,” Saraki added.
The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite recently refuted claims that the Federal Government plans to hand over the Ajaokuta Steel plant to a British firm for rehabilitation.
Adeyemi said, “The minister clarified that a local Nigerian firm with a British partner, had expressed interest in carrying out the TECHNICAL AUDIT for free with no preconditions.
The minister pointed out that the federal government had been in discussion with a Russian firm Messrs TPE (nominated by the Russian government) towards conducting the technical audit. The war between Ukraine and Russia has caused a setback to the proposed plan.”
Adegbite explained that when the technical audit is completed, the result would be shared with all interested investors and potential partners interested in Ajaokuta Steel Plant resuscitation, which they would use to enter their submission bids.