The Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Barr. Yakubu Dogara, has described the current leprous state of the supposed largest steel complex in Africa, the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, in Kogi State as a collective shame to all leaders.
While noting that the National Assembly will resist any move for the concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, he noted that such move is another model of mortgaging Nigeria’s future.
Dogara expressed anger on the state of the complex when he led members of the House Committee on Steel to Ajaokuta Steel in Kogi State on Monday.
According to him, the House would consult with stakeholders to work out ways to source for the $500m needed to complete the last phase of the project, while noting that except the political will was lacking, getting the funds to complete it should not be an issue.
He was quick to aver that the reason why the steel company had not been completed was due to a leadership problem, and assured that efforts will be made to get funds for the resuscitation of the plant.
He hinted that sourcing the fund have several windows including the Sovereign Wealth Fund, Excess Crude Account and recovered financial crimes’ loot.
Some of the key comments made by the Speaker during the visit include; “Imagine if this plant had been completed in 1986, where Nigeria would be at the moment. Any patriotic Nigerian that visits this place will shed tears irrespective of the part the person is from; and for a foreigner who visits here, when he hears people describe this place as a shithole, he will go with the impression that it may be true. We have no reason not to complete that plant.
“You cannot concede your future, it is never done. I’m yet to see a nation that even conceded its bedrock and still succeeded. If you see one, just tell me. And that’s why previous attempts to concede it were not possible.
“We keep repeating the same things and expecting to get different results. That’s the definition of stupidity and since we are not stupid, we will not repeat it. We can make Nigeria proud so that every black man in the world can beat his chest. Anyone who plans to outsource the completion of this plant will definitely run into problems with us,” aggrieved Dogara vowed.