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Fight for the soul of ASC deepens as 301 Reps drive Bill to rest its commercialization

Having seen the seriousness of the executives to concession the ageless and moribund Ajaokuta Steel Complex (ASC), in Kogi State, the National Assembly has began the process of amending the Public Enterprise (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act with the aim of inserting a clause that will exempt the national asset.

Already, the Bill has passed second reading on Thursday last week at the House of Representatives. The bill which was sponsored by Rep. Nkem Abonta (Abia-PDP) and 300 others, seeks to delete the Ajaokuta Steel Company from the list of enterprises to be commercialised.

Leading the debate, Abonta said the amendment of the Act was necessary because a bill seeking to provide funds for the completion of the company was already on the floor of the house.

He explained that for the bill seeking the completion of the company to achieve its aim, there was need to prevent the company from being commercialised.

In his contribution, Rep. Aminu Shagari (Sokoto-APC) said it was the right of the people to decide which public asset should be commercialised or privatised.

Dogara Y
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara

He said as representatives of the people, “we want the steel company completed and not commercialised or privatised.”

After the debate, the Speaker of the house, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, announced the forwarding of the bill to the Committee of the Whole for further legislative actions.

Before now, the Minister of Solid Minerals Develoipment, Dr. kayoed Fayemi had insisted that the best option for government is to concession the legacy considering the rigours it has passed in the last couple of years.

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