The Federal Government has been urged to sell the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State. The FG was advised to sell the defunct facility to the private sector, which would be more capable to turn the massive structural investment into a profitable venture.
The call was made by the Chairman and Managing Director of Energy Services Limited, Chief Sunny Onuesoke who spoke to newsmen in Warri after visiting the plant last week.
He lamented that no Nigerian would feel good about the country after visiting the $8bn structural investment which has never “produced a single bar of steel since reaching 98% completion as far back as 1994.”
On his visit to the plant, he reported that it was a very emotional experience for him.
“I went there, I cried and asked what exactly is the problem?” he said.
He reflected on the numbers associated with the moribund Ajaokuta steel Plant from its flag off in 1979 to date.
- 3.9bn was budgeted for the resuscitation of the facility in 2016
- 4.27bn was budgeted for the same purpose in 2017
Onuesoke said that successive governments have plunged about $8bn into the complex since 1979. He lamented that the FG has been wasting the huge sum of N2 billion for payment of staff salaries every year for doing nothing.
“Why would anyone continue to pump money into an unproductive enterprise? Why do government keep promoting, paying staff salaries, pensioning, and retiring them?
“Why does government spend an appropriation budget on the maintenance of a plant that is not working? How do you maintain a non-commission plant?” Onuesoke queried.
The Ajaokuta steel plant has been in a moribund state for four decades with no concrete plans on the ground for its full resuscitation.
What you should know
- Nairametrics earlier reported on the 3 key reasons why the Ajaokuta Steel Plant has remained moribund for more than 4 decades. You can find them here
- The Ajaokuta steel company was constructed by the Soviet Union in 1979 under a cooperation agreement with Nigeria, the complex reached 98% completion by 1994.