The Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has asked the Federal Government to hand over the Ajaokuta Iron and Steel to the Kogi State Government “if it (FG) cannot revive it”.
The senator who lamented the inability of the federal government to expedite the completion of the steel said the abandoned Ajaokuta Steel Complex had the potential of providing employment to over 50,000 Nigerians if resuscitated.
Adeyemi spoke on Thursday in Abuja while addressing journalists at the public hearing on his rent bill slated for March 30.
He said, “It Is saddening that a potential game-changer for the nation’s monolithic economy which started in 1980s, is still at the stage of abandonment.
” If the Federal Government is not ready to see to its completion and functionality, it should be handed over to Kogi State which I believe will do the needful the way the Kaduna State Government built an iron ore firm recently with potential for thousands of jobs creation for the youth and quantum wealth generation for the State.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is no doubt, trying, as far as building of infrastructures are concerned but such legacies without completion of Ajaokuta and provision of functions refineries; will not make much impacts economically.”
He also urged the federal government to spend the current gains being made from crude oil sales at the International market which is above $100 per barrel, to fix the nation’s comatose oil refineries or build new ones.
Adeyemi said, “proceeds from the oil windfall arising from the ongoing Russia / Ukraine war should be channeled into fixing the nation’s comatose refineries or to outrightly build new ones.
“To me, it is inexplicable and shameful for a nation that is producing crude oil in large volumes on daily basis to be importing refined ones.
“It is like somebody who has a functional borehole in his or her compound and yet buys water from other sources.
“Serious bleeding the shameful arrangement is causing the nation’s economy must be stopped.
“Refineries must be made functional or new ones put in place to prevent huge capital flight bleeding the nation’s economy from refined oil importation,” he said.