The House of Representatives will soon commence consideration of a proposal to set aside $1billion dollars from the Excess Crude Account for completion of work on Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State.
Fund is also expected to be drawn from annual budgets and foreign loans for the projects.
A law, entitled “An Act to Provide for the Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund for the Speedy Completion of the Project,” is underway in the Green Chamber.
Sponsor of the piece of the bill to set up a fund for the complex, is Uzoma Nkem Abonta(PDP-Abia).
The Bill proposes to: “Establish the Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund, which shall comprise The sum of $1bn from Excess Crude revenue, all moneys from time to time appropriated and authorised to be paid into the Fund by this Bill, and all loans or grants from time to time made to Nigeria for purposes of completing the Ajaokuta Steel Company”.
The Fund, if set up, will compel the Minister in charge of the complex to apply the funds strictly for the project.
Money in the Fund, the Bill warns, “Shall be applied by the Minister only for the purposes of: the construction, improvement, extension, enlargement and replacement of infrastructure and works, including the provision, acquisition, improvement and replacement of other capital assets (like vehicles, vessels, machinery, instruments and equipment) required in respect of or in connection with the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, ASCL, popularly known as Ajaokuta Steel Mill, is a steel mill in Nigeria, located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, Nigeria.
Built on a 24,000 hectares (59,000 acres) site starting in 1979, it is the largest steel mill in Nigeria, and the coke oven and byproducts plant are larger than all the refineries in Nigeria combined.
However, the project was mismanaged and remains incomplete 40 years later.
Three-quarters of the complex have been abandoned, and only the light mills have been put into operation for small-scale fabrication and the production of iron rods, says Wikipedia.
The company has been a subject of several controversies in the last decades, arising from shoddy attempts by past regimes at its concession or privatisation.
The House of Representatives resumes tomorrow from a one-week recess.