From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The association of indigenous contractors in Ajaokuta steel company and that of the iron ore mining company, Itakpe has expressed shock over the federal government refusal to capture the ₦3billion required to engage foreign experts in the reactivation of the 21 plants of th company in the 2021 budget.
The body in a statement signed by his chairman, Chief Joseph Anikwe and made available to newsmen in lokoja said it was quite disturbing and shocking that inspite of the federal government promise to complete the gigantic steel company, it still failed to do the needful.
The association said it was baffled when the chairman of the senate committee on solid minerals, mines and steel development said last week that the ministry of ministry of mines and steel did not include that important issue in the budget it presented to the National Assembly and said that was an unpardonable omission.
Judging with the seriousness the Buhari administration attaches to the completion of the gigantic steel company which has been under construction for over 40 years the action of the ministry or any arm of government responsible for the inclusion smack of of deceit and unseriousness.
The statement reads in part: ” the non inclusion of the ₦3billion resucitation funds portrays the federal government as not being serious with its planned diversification of the nation’s economy and the industrialisation of the country
“Gong by the earlier government to the completion of the steel company, Nigerians thought by now the Russian Expatriates would have arrived the country and commence the reactivation of the 21 plants, but this drawback is a very sad development” it added
The association however commended the senate committee chairman on mines, steel and solid minerals for raising the alarm early enough and urged the National Assembly to do all it can to ensure that the ₦3billion reactivation funds is included in the 2021 budget so as to reduce unemployment rate in the country.