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Ajaokuta: Reps Panel Recommends Use Of Abacha Loot
11-27-2018, 10:55 AM,
#1
Ajaokuta: Reps Panel Recommends Use Of Abacha Loot
The House of Representatives ad hoc Committee on Ajaokuta
Steel Company Limited has submitted its report to the House
recommending that the loot recovered from the late Head of
State, Gen. Sani Abacha, be channelled towards reviving
Ajaokuta Integrated Steel Plant.
The committee in the report, which was obtained by SUNDAY
PUNCH, claimed that most of the money allegedly looted by
Abacha was meant for the completion of Ajaokuta.
A large chunk of the money has, however, been put into the
Social Investment Programme of the Muhammadu Buhari
government, includes school feeding programme and skill
acquisition initiative.
But the committee in the report signed by its Chairman, Mr
Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Secretary, Ifeanyichukwu
Abraham, said the Abacha loot could be put to better use.
The report stated, “That since it is known that most of the
Abacha loot was got from the debt buy back deal involving
Ajaokuta, then the recovered loot still flowing into Nigeria
should be used to supplement the funding of the completion of
Ajaokuta integrated steel plant.”
The 18-member committee, which visited several stakeholders
including monarchs and members of the community where the
company is domiciled, reported that the project was started by
President Shehu Shagari in 1983 but subsequent governments
failed to take necessary steps to complete it.
It added that when the Russian company that built the
Ajaokuta firm (‘Tyazh Prom Export’TPE) left the site and
Nigeria in 1994, the Ajaokuta Steel Complex was 98 per cent
completed and that what was left as two per cent was due to
failure of subsequent Nigerian governments to meet up with
financial commitments and political will to complete the
enabling external infrastructure to guarantee an uninterrupted
functional steel company.
The committee added, “Harmful vested interests have
predominantly played out in the last 15 years. For instance, in
2001, President Obasanjo travelled to Russia and signed a bi-
lateral agreement that included the completion of Ajaokuta
Steel plant.
“President Putin of Russia sent 40 experts to conduct a
technical audit and secured funding for the project.
Surprisingly, President Obasanjo reneged on the agreement and
gave Ajaokuta and National Iron Ore Mining Company to
SOLGAS Energy which lacked both the technical expertise
and funds to manage the two companies.”
The committee said this was detrimental to the interest of
Nigeria as SOLGAS entered into another agreement with
Global Infrastructures Nigeria Ltd.
It said the Federal Government under the late President
Umaru Yar’Adua, upon consideration of the ‘Report of the
Administrative Panel of Inquiry into the operations of
ASCL,NIOMCO and DELTA STEEL at the Federal Executive
Council meeting of April 2, 2008 nullified and terminated all
the concessions entered into by the previous government of
Obasanjo for breach of agreement and unwholesome practices
and that ‘the agreements (concessions) were largely skewed in
favour of SOLGAS.
The report added, “That the company, Global Infrastructure
Nigeria Limited is a dubious company with no good track
record of any success story on ‘steel skill production and
manufacturing’ and has been earlier indicted in Bulgaria for
asset stripping and breach of contract and indicted by the
Federal Government of Nigeria by late President Yar’Adua in
2008 for obvious criminal and unwholesome practices.
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