16 August 2016, Lagos – Mr Jacob Fayehun, Chairman, Nigeria Automobile Technician Association (NATA) Lagos State Chapter, has said that Ajaokuta Steel Company is enough for the country to produce its own cars.
Fayehun said this in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos. He said that instead of establishing vehicle assembling plants, Nigeria had enormous facilities to produce its own model automobiles from steel. ”
“Assembling cars in Nigeria at this point in time should not be; Ajaokuta steel company is enough for the country to produce its vehicles . “What the government needs to do is to review the curriculum of polytechnics and technical colleges and channel it towards producing Nigeria model vehicles in a way to meet up with the demand,’’ he said.
Fayehun also noted that the country was blessed with human and natural resources, which made it easier for the country to produce its vehicles. He said that car manufacturers could depend on the available resources, as the country needed to diversify its economy towards auto technology rather than depending on oil revenue only.
The chairman added that Nigerian technicians were good in repairing vehicles of all kind, adding that with the help of government policy, it would be easier to manufacture locally made vehicles. Fayehun also advised the government to fast track the development of Ajaokuta Steel Company to allow technicians have access to steel for production.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Aug. 1 signed a renegotiated concession agreement with Global Steel Holdings Limited for the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe.
By the new agreement, the Ajaokuta Steel Complex has now reverted to the Federal Government, effectively freeing the entity from all contractual encumbrances that had left it uncompleted and non-functional for decades.
But GSHL retains NIOMCO.
The new agreement, which came after four years of mediation, was signed at a ceremony presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa.
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, signed on behalf of the government, while the Chairman of GSHL, Prammod Mittal, signed on behalf of the company.
Osinbajo, who hailed the mediation process, said: “It is a tragedy of immense proportion that we have both Ajaokuta Steel Complex and NIOMCO and couldn’t get anything out of them for years. “It is one of the cases of failures,” Osinbajo said. The vice president said making the entities to work remained a top priority of the administration, and urged GSHL to keep to the various timelines in the agreement in the spirit of mediation. He added that it was important the concession worke “so that Ajaokuta can take off.”