Dr Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, on Thursday in Abuja said no penny will be spent by the Nigerian Government to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Fayemi said this while addressing newsmen on a ‘Vote of No Confidence’ passed on him by the House of Representatives recently.
He said that government would not spend a dime to put Ajaokuta steel to use but would rather concession it to a capable company with good history of competence and financial buoyancy, among others virtues.
About eight billion dollars had been sunk into the steel mill by previous administrations.
Fayemi said a technical audit of the steel company is ongoing and would be completed in the next six weeks.
He said after completion of the technical audit of the steel company, the ministry would declare it open for concession and only a competent bidder would be allowed to operate the company.
“The position of the government is clear on Ajaokuta; that only a company that is verifiable, competent, financially buoyant will Ajaokuta be concessionned to after the technical audit is completed.
“The rumour going on that Ajaokuta is at 98 per cent completion is not true; that is why the technical audit is going on to ascertain its level of completion and other information needed,’’ he said.
On the vote of no confidence passed on him and his minister of state, he described it as an attack on their personalities and it was unacceptable.
He said that since himself and the minister of state assumed office till date, they had appeared at the National Assembly four times – three at different House committee levels on the Ajaokuta steel situation.
He said what led to the “attack’’ was an invitation sent to them to appear before the House on the Ajaokuta issue and they replied that they were currently indisposed but another date should be given to them to appear.
He said instead of the house to understand with them, it raised vote of no confidence and the news went viral.
“As if that was not enough, the Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, gave another news conference and passed a vote of no confidence on us in Lagos and that also went viral in the dailies.’’
According to him, “we have made it clear to the house on what to do before we concession the steel plant in which the technical audit is on-going”.
The minister said that most of the allegations made against him and the minister of state and the ministry’s officials were not only unfounded but malicious.
He said while the House members reserved the right to discuss and pass resolutions on national issues, he took serious exception to a member of the House going outside the hallowed chambers to make spurious allegations against public servants.
Members of the House of Representatives had passed a vote of no confidence on the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
The members described their non-appearance as a contempt to the House and executive recklessness.