Nigerian govt. vows to reactivate Ajaokuta, ALSCON

The Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi, has described the current status of both the Ajaokuta Steel Company and Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria as symbols of collective shame and embarrassment for all Nigerians.

With Nigeria currently spending over N3 trillion annually on importation of steel and aluminium products, government established the two complexes to help the country save the huge losses through local production of the commodities.

However, both multi-billion dollar projects have been entangled in dubious and corrupt privatisation arrangements and subsequently abandoned to waste.

But speaking in Abuja at his inaugural media briefing on the state of the country’s solid minerals sector, the Minister said the Federal Government has resolved to turn the companies’ fortunes around and give value to Nigerians.

“Not many things have had a sobering effect on me as what I have seen in the solid mineral sector since I took up this assignment,” the minister said.

“It is a collective shame for all Nigerians for two massive projects as Ajaokuta Steel and ALSCON to be allowed to remain moribund in spite of the resources invested and their immense potentials,” he added.

Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi
Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi

Although Mr. Fayemi said the cost of reactivating Ajaokuta in particularly was not one for the government alone to bear, he said President Muhammadu Buhari was so disturbed by the matter that he would be willing to approve a joint financing arrangement for the project.

He assured that before the end of the first quarter of 2016, government would have a direction, whether to take over and run Ajaokuta, or look for an alternative arrangement, after the lingering legal issues surrounding the company may have been resolved.

Government, he said, was willing to hold discussions with the relevant interested parties to disentangle the company and its affiliates to agree on the best way forward.

The discussions, the minister explained, would involve the Ministry of Solid Minerals, with its Justice counterpart; Bureau of Public Enterprises, and other interested players, particularly Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited.

“Government sees that as a priority,” Mr Fayemi said. ”It is unacceptable to have so much investment and just walk away from it. We just have to fix Ajaokuta.

“The total cost to fix Ajaokuta is not what the country can afford easily. We have to figure out creative and innovative ways to partner with local and international financiers who can make it happen so that we begin to produce liquid steel and export products from the company.”

Noting the important contributions of the solid minerals sector to the growth of the country’s economy, the minister lamented that 80 per cent of activity in some regions was dominated by illegal artisanal mining conducted informally, without any revenue for the country.

He spoke of plans by government to bring these informal miners into a legalized framework and ensure that they began to pay government the right set of taxes and royalties.

“I want to be clear: there will no longer be a free lunch, as the Mining Act will be firmly enforced,” he said.

He said President Buhari’s agenda was to ensure that the solid minerals sector became a key source of economic growth and diversified revenue base for the country.

To realise the agenda, Mr. Fayemi said the Ministry would work with the National Assembly to remove all obstacles, including poor funding, and regulatory framework, to enable the sector work.

Part of the immediate priorities of the administration, he said, include accelerating investor confidence in the mining markets, and getting the sector growing and creating jobs; creating a new mining industry, and reviewing overlapping and inactive titles and contracts to guarantee integrity of mining licenses.

Other priorities, he said, include the establishment of Mines Police.

“Starting March 1, 2016, we will start enforcing the “use it or lose it” doctrine enshrined in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007,” Mr. Fayemi said.

”The period from today to 1st March 2016 should be considered an amnesty period to allow regularization of papers.”


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  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    Educated Nigerian elites are as confused as the word confusion itself————–They are real trouble and should be discarded like pieces of tissue papers—–These are the same people who called for the commercialization of every government owned firm—In China it is the government owned firms that are helping to increase the revenue generating capacity of government–Not in Nigeria————–by the time the current government would depart from office—-the said steel companies that were sold by Obj to Indians–would haver been resold to the fulani ati Yoruba gluttons again—Just as we have in the oil sectors of the country——–Both the up-stream and down stream sectors of the oil industry, are in the hands of the Atikus–Dangotes –Adenugas and the emeka offors——————-U can hardly see or hear the name of a single Ijaw man or woman in that oil industry like the Alakijas—-The All States bank and Crystal Banks created by the Ijaw Nation have all been killed by Nigeria—Amaechi the thief was not able to revive–the Pan African Banks————instead, himself –late Alams ati the Iboris, stole to appease the Fulanis ati Yorubas—Besides who are the Ijaws who benefitted from the socalled Dasukigate-Not one of them————-Separation is the answer——————and not the 419 rule of the Fulanis and Yorubas-again–Nigeria is dying dead——So let my people go–We cannot even operate pure water factories–not to talk of a steel complex

  • Burning Spear

    Now that Prof Itse Sagay has denied the Tribune Interview, lets look back and see what the Learned Prof has fed his students and followers over the years while we wait for him to deny them too.

    Extracts of speech delivered by Professor Sagay (SAN), former Head of Law Department of University of Benin, at the fourth sensitisation programme organised by the Ibori Vanguard at the Lagoon Restaurant, Lagos.

    “As Omoruyi and many other Scholars and Writers have noted, the Arewa North has always ensured that it controlled the Military, particularly the Army, as an insurance of its retention of power. The 1966 coup was a devastating blow against the Arewa North – the beneficiaries of the colonial legacy. Their shock and pain did not arise from the death of Balewa, Ahmadu Bello and their military officers – no. Their main grievance was loss of power to the Ibos. That is how they perceived Ironsi’s rise to power.

    Therefore, the carefully orchestrated uprisings in the North in May 1966, and the violent and bloody coup that followed it in July were not reactions to Decree 32 of 1966, abolishing the Regions and unifying the civil services of the country. The Decree was a convenient excise for the Northern bid to seize back power.

    For as we have seen, soon after power was restored to the North through Gowon and those behind him, they (the Northerners in powers) introduced a level of unitary government this country had never known and embarked on a deliberate programme for dismantling all federal structures in the country as we saw earlier in the series of Decrees transferring State resources to the Federal Government. The truth of the matter was power, raw power. It is also interesting to recall that the attempt of the North to secede after the counter-coup of July 1966, was halted when it was pointed out to them that in seceding, they were in effect divorcing the young lady of wealth, with her oil, seaports, etc.

    The whole saga of June 12, 1993 is merely a manifestation of the belief religiously held by the Arewa North that power was transferred to them as a right by the colonial masters. Omoruyi recalls that Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, the Sultan of Sokoto, vehemently opposed General Babangida’s preparation for the June 12, 1993 elections on behalf of the Northern Leadership because the North was not able to decide the outcome in favour of the North before hand. He then prevailed on Babangida to cancel the presidential election, because the result was a reversal of the British legacy. So much then for Dasuki’s characterisation of the event as Allah’s will.”

    • Enemona

      Sorry, we’ve gone past all these nonsense you spew, we now talk of infrastructure. Remain in your ignorance.

    • Invictus

      My question is: has the learned Prof. lied? The North is majorly responsible and cannot be exonerated from most of the mess Nigeria have found itself; but other regions have been highly complicit. They’ve had opportunities to improve the situation/correct some of the imbalances but they never did. Now that Nigeria is falling apart we all want to blame the North as solely responsible! While the North needs to change its attitude, we need to get over the past. Currently, Buhari is another opportunity, and perhaps the option we are stuck with for any change to Nigeria’s trajectory. If he is able to the move the country in more a positive direction, it would be good for all of us— and no one should care if he’s from the North as long as he delivery the goods. At the moment, expectations are high on Buhari but those expecting magic are wasting their time. Nigeria’s problem didn’t start yesterday, and would take a while to fix.

  • mconzend

    This govt should stabilise the economy while fighting corruption. Revival of Aja steel company if actualized will be a plus to Buhari led FG. But this government seems to talk more than they do. Since they assumed office they’ve neither commissioned or completed any infrastructural projects.

    • Enemona

      How many months does it take to conclude infrastructure projects and how many months has this government spent in office? You don’t just go around mixing cement and building, do you? Won’t you sought out your papers first? It is even worse in government’s case, a lot of issues have to be soughted out; environmental issues, legal and regulatory frameworks, land issues, funding/financing, etc. It is even worse for this government given the decay that it met on ground, this means the government has to clear knotty legal and financing issues e.g Ajaokuta’s legal and ownership issues can take another one or two years to sought out.

      One thing, though, that is not lacking in this government is the political will to get things done, that is what gives me hope. Give them time!

      • Burning spear

        When Awo was asked to explain how he was going to cut down on government expenditure–it did not take him 5 seconds to tell the Nation how he was going to achieve that feat———-U do not have to be a rocket scientist to know the failed direction this government is taking Nigerians to–Buhari contested elections 4 times–from 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015—Meaning he had a plan in place if nominated or imposed on us–So what is this give them more time rubbish that the moaning Buhari mourners, are talking about here-? It took Buhari over 4 months to assemble crooks like Amaechi, Fashola, Dambazua and Fayemi–whose petitions are still lying on his table–to be made Ministers———Jonathan did not have the type of experience that Buhari had when he became president—Yet he was able to move the country forward——in spite of efforts made tby the Fulanis ati Yorubas to pull him down—So what type of legal papers are these APC agents talking about here again-‘

      • mconzend

        Enemona, they might continue to review and sort those things you mentioned and their tenure ends without any achievements to show in four years. Sure you are APC supporter from Kogi State. If that project gets revived it’d benefit your people more especially in area of employment.

        • Enemona

          I am from Kogi state and, yes, the project would benefit my people. Also, I do not have any political affiliation. I think I like the methodical way of this government, it helps to avoid future issues. In the past, our governments, where they have done anything at all, have done them in a hurry and haphazardly and this ended up costing us more. In the end, no results are achieved. Ajaokuta is a good example, it was privatized in a rush and it was mired in legal tussle such that the plant has not even been made to produce anything, this is after decades of attempts. Can you remember what happened to the power equipment that OBJ imported? They all rot in the ports cos there was no gas to continue to project.

          A well planned process would save us a lot at the end and it would ensure the objectives of the projects are met with minimal costs. Our epic impatience has cost us so much so we need to be careful. Don’t worry, there would be alot to cheer in four years. From events, so far, this government means well and will not disappoint.

      • Felix Udoh

        It takes a few weeks to sort out the papers and conclude work on some infrastructure projects if you have direction. Go to Port Harcourt and see what a beautiful dual carriage road Wike has made out of the Oil Mill Market junction to Ogoni road expressway. It just took direction and leadership as that very bad portion and stretch was abandoned by Ameachi for about 8 years. It does not take forever to achieve anything if you are determined and have direction.

        • Enemona

          Unfortunately, you don’t even have any idea about what you are even commenting about. Reread my comment, my allusion to paperwork was to make an analogy. You think infrastructure projects are about paperwork? Yes, if it is just about paperwork then it takes even a few days but if you knew what work goes into planning to minimize risks, you won’t have made this naive statement of yours. You’re naive, that’s different from being st*pid, so I’ll take that comment at face value.

          • Felix Udoh

            You obviously know it all. You don’t know me but you seems to assume that I don’t know what goes into planning to minimise risks. I might be naive but I know you are ignorant.

  • Uncle Rotimi Fowler

    Editor Sir,

    I DO NOT SUPPORT BUHARI

    CHANGE excludes Buhari’s type of choosing which treasury thief to cover up and whom to expose
    I am not in support of Muhammadu Buhari as a person. I support CHANGE FOR MY COUNTRY.
    The logic of that is that Muhammadu Buhari does not symbolize CHANGE for me, surely not!
    Partial sincerity to a principle is as devious as violation of the very principle of honesty itself.
    I know CHANGE when i see it. CHANGE is a very strict ethical principle enacted to apply to all.
    Buhari simply does not have the moral courage to take that first honest step in real CHANGE.
    I cannot therefore support Buhari’s duplicity if Raji Fashola and Rotimi Amaechi are Ministers,
    anymore than i could have supported Goodluck Jonathan for insanely stealing security funds.

    • E. Paulsworth

      @mconzend:disqus

      I just want to say things are getting worse in Nigeria. Power supply is now
      nearing zero, as darkness overtakes Nigeria. Cost of living is rising on the
      back of inflation, as employment remains frozen in both private and private
      sectors. In many private companies, especially in real estate, construction
      and banks, retrenchment of workers has increased.Investments on the
      Stock Exchange lost 20% of their value since June this year just as the
      national currency has lost nearly 45% of its exchange value since then.
      I am not sure this is what CHANGE means in real terms as promised by
      the ruling party (APC) but I am sure that past thefts by the regime of
      Goodluck Jonathan can’t account for today’s utter fall into the abyss.
      Incompetent management of the country today is the first to blame.

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    Educated Nigerian elites are as confused as the word confusion itself————–They are real trouble and should be discarded like pieces of tissue papers—–These are the same people who called for the commercialization of every government owned firm—In China it is the government owned firms that are helping to increase the revenue generating capacity of government–Not in Nigeria————–by the time the current government would depart from office—-the said steel companies that were sold by Obj to Indians–would haver been resold to the fulani ati Yoruba gluttons again—Just as we have in the oil sectors of the country——–Both the up-stream and down stream sectors of the oil industry, are in the hands of the Atikus–Dangotes –Adenugas and the emeka offors——————-U can hardly see or hear the name of a single Ijaw man or woman in that oil industry like the Alakijas—-The All States bank and Crystal Banks created by the Ijaw Nation have all been killed by Nigeria—Amaechi the thief was not able to revive–the Pan African Banks————instead, himself –late Alams ati the Iboris, stole to appease the Fulanis ati Yorubas—Besides who are the Ijaws who benefitted from the socalled Dasukigate-Not one of them————-Separation is the answer——————and not the 419 rule of the Fulanis and Yorubas-again–Nigeria is dying dead——So let my people go–We cannot even operate pure water factories–not to talk of a steel complex

  • Chief. Eric Paulsworth

    I just want to say things are getting worse in Nigeria. Power supply is now
    nearing zero, as darkness overtakes Nigeria. Cost of living is rising on the
    back of inflation, as employment remains frozen in both private and private
    sectors. In many private companies, especially in real estate, construction

    and banks, retrenchment of workers has increased.Investments on the
    Stock Exchange lost 20% of their value since June this year just as the

    national currency has lost nearly 45% of its exchange value since then.
    I am not sure this is what CHANGE means in real terms as promised by

    the ruling party (APC) but I am sure that past thefts by the regime of

    Goodluck Jonathan can’t account for today’s utter fall into the abyss.

    Incompetent management of the country today is the first to blame.

    • Ade

      You forgot to mention that crude oil price has dropped from 100 dollars per barrel to 31 dollars per barrel. This is beyond Buhari.

      • Felix Udoh

        We want the price of Crude oil to crash to 2 dollars per barrel so that all parasites can go back and cultivate groundnut and cocoa.

  • asiseeit

    BUHARI’S SHAMBOLIC GOVERNMENT PROVES MORE TALKATIVE THAN THOUGHTFUL.
    IF CHANGE IS MEASURED BY ITS OUTPUT IN SIX MONTHS, BUHARI WILL SCORE ZERO%.

  • Say the truth

    I agree with the minister on this. Ajaokuta and Alscon are symbols of a collective shame to Nigeria. It is also a particular shame of Obasanjo ‘Mr know all’ especially, plus Jonathan, that they couldn’t do anything meaningful about these projects for sixteen years. A visit to these companies will move a ‘normal’ human being to tears. What is it with Nigeria that we can’t get anything right. The turbines in these two companies can provide electricity for many states in south south and north central. But the squanderers and locusts of human beings wouldn’t allow us to benefit from the projects. Everyone that corruptly enriched himself or herself through the dubious sale and resale of these companies will never know peace in their lives except they return their loots. Enough is enough.

  • Burning spear

    When Awo was asked to explain how he was going to cut down on government expenditure–it did not take him 5 seconds to tell the Nation how he was going to achieve that feat———-U do not have to be a rocket scientist to know the failed direction this government is taking Nigerians to–Buhari contested elections 4 times–from 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015—Meaning he had a plan in place if nominated or imposed on us–So what is this give them more time rubbish that the moaning Buhari mourners, are talking about here-? It took Buhari over 4 months to assemble crooks like Amaechi, Fashola, Dambazua and Fayemi–whose petitions are still lying on his table–to be made Ministers———Jonathan did not have the type of experience that Buhari had when he became president—Yet he was able to move the country forward——in spite of efforts made tby the Fulanis ati Yorubas to pull him down—So what type of legal papers are these APC agents talking about here again-‘

    • SBA

      It appears you are not living in the country for you to say Jonathan moved the country forward. Are you really thinking at all. Jonathan was in government when oil sold for over $100 per barrel yet nothing to show for it.

  • Wole Williams

    @disqus_eofdyI2vDB:disqus

    Somebody wise should hold the Minister’s hand. Kayode Fayemi does not think.
    He says here he wants to ‘reconstitute’ ALSCON but without firstly resolving the
    company’s encumbrances. That’s like painting cobwebs and bacteria growth into
    the walls of a building. The Supreme Court had resolved ALSCON in favour of an
    American company but left much else to decide on the incidents of compensable rights
    and interests in the preceding ownership by Russian investors. Neither Umaru Yar’Adua
    nor Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had the clarity of thought to resolve this precise issue.
    And now comes Muhammadu Buhari with much the same mental fuzziness.

    The intelligence quotient
    of leadership in Nigeria is just too low to write home about. For example, Lagos state
    illustrates official mental retardation. Raji Fashola blew away and pocketed much
    of the 3 trillion Naira in cash and loans Lagos state got as revenues and advances.
    Did Raji Fashola lift Lagos a notch up with those oodles of cash, just a notch? No, Fashola
    just ruined Lagos with ₦520 billion unprecedented debt he ramped up, turned Lagos into the
    third worst city on earth, and left Lagos state a much worse place than thecity was in the 1970s,
    according to the WORLD BANK assessment report – a city now flowing with blood on daily basis
    like never before, on the back of Fashola’s breach of trust for primitive stealing and plundering,
    which has since set Lagos youths on a murderous mission to also steal, to loot and to destroy.

    • Mathematician2000

      My people,

      Let us do the arithmetic here.

      “N5.4 billion goes for monthly salary and N251 million goes for pension bills,” said the Lagos
      state Commissioner of Finance in the year 2011. So, it means total salary payment, as overhead
      in Lagos state under Raji Fashola was 64.8 billion Naira per year. So, in 8 years, it would be 518
      billion Naira on that extrapolation; which also means pension was 3 billion Naira per year
      which is = 24 billion in 8 years. Now, add 24 billion Naira to 518 billion. What do you get?

      You will get 542 billion Naira. Now, add one billion Naira to account for increments
      in those eight years, despite none, what will you get? You will get 543 billion Naira.
      Now, deduct that 543 billion from the cash revenue of 2.42 TRILLION Naira that
      came into Raji Fashola’s hands as Lagos state revenue. What will you get?

      You will get 1.87 TRILLION NAIRA as the amount RAJI FASHOLA has to
      account for. In other words Raji Fashola must impossibly point at
      verifiable capital expenditure of 1.87 trilion Naira.

  • ed

    Nigerian seems to have lost hope on President Buhari.
    That may not be justified. Given the state of the crude oil price. Couple with the reckless corruption infeasted Jonathan regime.
    President Buhari made mistake in his approach to governance in 2015. He came in with an Islamic / northern agenda above all interest. Which were informed in his appointment in security, Intelligence and all relevant government heads.
    The natural confidence and support of people like me were quickly lost. The hope we had for a national government free of religious agenda soon disappear.
    The President DSS disrespect of court order and ruling continue to compound the fear of the second coming of a dictator.
    Fayemi and other ministers should be allowed to prove themselves. Hoping that Buhari will allow them to operate with some support.
    President Buhari’s regime score very poorly so far on every issue that counted.
    Nigeria should score the administration high on the blame game.

    • Sobe.

      You seem to be lost and indeed you are lost.

      • No Bull …..

        You are being polite, the guy is SICK

    • Peter_Edo

      how many of una?

    • TrueFairGame

      The administration has performed fairly well. Nigeria is not adrift, with the current oil price, a wasteful administration like the previous one would have crashed the state. It is baseless and confused thinking to believe that the government has Islamic agenda. It is people like u that propagated the idea during the election thinking that by saying Buhari will islmaize Nigeria people will not vote for him. by track record, Buharis action has never indicated religious agenda.
      On the issue of Dasuki, people are not realistic. All over the world, even in the countries that claims human right, when it comes to issue of National Security, individual right takes a second position. Just imagine if what Dasuki did is in china, you will realize that nigeria is even civilized in handling them. They truly sinned against the state, their action resulted in lost of innocent lives of soldiers and less privileged civilians without voices and people like you are hailing and worshiping them. It is a shame for an educated person to reason this way.

  • Room 23

    ACT 1, SCENE 1
    So, in the evening of Wednesday February 27, Mrs. Yaro flew to Lagos ahead of Mr. Sanusi, skipping work, at taxpayers’ expense, on Thursday February 28 and Friday, March 1… To keep faith with Mrs. Yaro’s date, the CBN governor arrived Lagos, travelling on a chartered flight, on the night of February 28, and checked into the Federal Palace Hotel, passage and boarding all at taxpayers’ expense.

    ACT 1, SCENE 2
    Mrs. Yaro arrived Lagos on the night of March 15, and immediately checked into the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel on Victoria Island. Mr. Sanusi flew from Kano to Lagos via chartered jet on the bills of the Nigerian taxpayers. He arrived at about 11 p.m., stopped by his Ikoyi home, before dashing to the hotel where Mrs. Yaro was waiting in a seductive dress in Room 23. The lovers spent that night and the next day together in the hotel…Both Mr. Sanusi and Mrs. Yaro rendezvoused in the hotel till Sunday when both of them returned to Abuja, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.


    ————————————————————-
    “…I had such a wonderful weekend,” Mrs. Yaro confessed to the governor while aboard her Abuja-bound flight. “You have revived in me what I thought I lost long ago. I thought I lost the passion to love again,” she claimed.
    “Alhamdulillahi. Love you,” Mr. Sanusi responded in a measured tone —– Premium Times, June 2, 2013
    .
    ….and he became an Emir=King= of his people…possible only in warped Nigeria

  • Olayinka Ola

    If you chase shadows, you will catch nothing, No matter how close you think you are.

  • Rommel

    This has been a clear example for those that have been clamoring for privatization of certain public companies like refineries,these steel companies were privatized by the OBJ administration,why did they end up like this? if tomorrow government reactivates them,then economists will raise their voices to high heavens and demand that they should be privatized,why have the private sector not been able to save Ajaokuta? almost everyone that is rich today in Nigeria made money either through reaping government off or sharp practices at the expense of the general public.

    • Ade

      good point

  • Awarawa

    Fayemi is a man to watch closely in this government.