Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada, has said that the completion of the Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Company will aid the nation’s industrialisation process and the realisation of Vision 20-2020.
Wada, who said this while on a facility tour of the company yesterday in Ajaokuta, said there is still hope that the steel mill will function again.
He said there is the political will to ensure that the steel plant is reactivated, noting that the option of Private Public Partnership, PPP, is being considered and that such requests are being channeled to the Federal Government to ensure that the plant is reactivated.
He said he was happy that engineering work is going on at different levels of the project, assuring the management and staff of the company that efforts are on to bring President Goodluck Jonathan to the complex to see things for himself.
In an address at the occasion, the Sole Administrator of the company, Engineer Isah Joseph, commended the governor for the visit, stressing that Governor Wada is the first governor to visit the steel company.
He said the bane of the steel company has been poor funding; adding that the entire workforce has not been paid salaries in the last 13 months and that capital allocation to the company has remained a mirage for a number of years now.
Joseph said as an integrated steel plant with series of completed plant units, some of which can be operated commercially, they are currently going into partnership with a number of investors reactivate and operate some of such completed units of the steel plant even with a zero-budget.
He appealed to the governor to promote the cause of the company by championing its case at the appropriate level in government and ensure that starting with the 2014 national budget, zero budgetary allocation for the project is brought to an end.