Reps to probe Ajaokuta Steel N3.4bn monthly wage bill

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Steel to probe the N3.4 billion being spent as monthly salaries for staff of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Kogi.

The committee is also charged to investigate the current developments in the company and report back to the House.

These were sequel to a motion moved by Abbas Tajuddeen (APC-Kaduna), and thereafter referred to the House Committee on Steel for further consideration.

Mr. Tajuddeen had said the services of foreign consultants were engaged because the company had failed to live up to expectations.

“In spite of the fact that the company is conceived and built to facilitate the industrialisation and economic transformation of Nigeria, it has failed to fulfill those expectations.

“Hence the engagement of consultants from the United States of America and India under the technical management contracts for 10 years,’’ he said.

He said Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN), in conjunction with Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria (EWUN), addressed news conference on Sept. 5, 2014.

“The two associations said the monthly wage bill for 2,900 staff of the company was actually N288 million, and not N3.4 billion.’’

He called for legislative intervention to complement the efforts of the Federal Government to revive the steel company and bring it back to a functional state.

The 1999 Constitution empowers the National Assembly to direct or cause to be directed an investigation aimed at exposing corruption, inefficiency or waste in the administration of funds appropriated by it.

The steel company, which was inaugurated in 1983, was expected to be the largest steel company in Africa, accounting for about 70 per cent of the world’s steel production.

(NAN)

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