Home BUSINESS How Ajaokuta Steel Project Ran Into Privatization Scam-Jonathan, Says It Must Bounce...

How Ajaokuta Steel Project Ran Into Privatization Scam-Jonathan, Says It Must Bounce Back

Ajaokuta Steel Coy

President Goodluck Jonathan has attributed the suspension of the operations of Ajaokuta Steel Company to what he called privatization scam.
“The key thing is that we have some challenges with the privatization process. The people that got it, there were some issues. Because of litigation, the project was held down. And all along, we have been trying to meander one way or the other but the project cannot take off very effectively. We want the private sector to come in robustly if we must get out from where we are. But they will find it difficult except the legal issues are sorted out.”
The President was responding to a compalin by Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue state on behalf of other five governors from the North Central Geopolitical Zone, who were among the leaders and stakeholders of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the zone that visited his on Monday.
Jonathan said that the government has similar issues with the Lagos- Ibadan expressway because of the private sector involvement.
According to him, Bi Courtney could not do the job and to bring a private sector in became a problem.
“So government had to take over, until we can sort out everything. The private sector cannot come in. Ajaokuta is a little more complicated. The Lagos Ibadan road was owned by government, but although Ajaokuta is a government company, it was the one that runs itself.
“So, what the Attorney General of the Federation is saying is that the issues are being sorted out because without mines and steel, the nation cannot industralize.
President Jonathan said thst it is not in the economic interest of the country to be importing what Nigeria can easily get from Ajaokuta and Itape.
He said that there is a great difference between when one is producing locally, “because we believe that Ajaokuta will be one of the bedrock for our own industrialization programme
“So, it is a project that is dear to anybody who wants to move this country forward. The North Central is of course known for solid minerals, especially in places like Jos. The zone is a zone that provides food for the whole country, provide power for the whole country and other good things.”

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