02 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Senator Dino Melaye, one of the senators representing Kogi State at the upper chambers of the National Assembly, has called on the Federal Government to return the trouble Ajaokuta Steel project to its original Russian contractors to enable the completion of the project.
“There is no way Nigeria will not go back to the original designers of Ajaokuta if we must get it right,” he said at the recent Senate Committee Public Hearing on the project.
Melaye urged that public interest be prioritised above personal interest in Ajaokuta Steel, saying that already, lack of openness and greed have taken over the bid for the completion of the project.
“Ajaokuta is one of the greatest development machines Nigeria is blessed with, but, unfortunately we have allowed it to suffer due to our insincerity and greed.
“I know how I have moved motions on Ajaokuta while in the House of Representatives which led to some committees that were constituted by the then president. (But) all of a sudden, the whole effort went through the back door,” he said.
He added: “Also on stepping into the Senate, Ajaokuta was the first motion I moved for a quick action to be taken on. And it is unfortunate that those top officials saddled with the responsibility rather see it as a way of enriching their pockets instead making a good name from the project”.
The senator asked for a lasting solution to the predicament of the project, urging that funds should be provided for the project.
“How to make Ajaokuta work is more important than all these public hearings and talk shows here and there.
“We must decide, the Ministry of Solid Minerals must decide that they have the political will to move Ajaokuta forward. And the legislators must cooperate in providing fund for it,” he stated.