The Ebira Youth Congress in Kogi has appealed to the Federal Government to engage TyazhPromExport (TPE), a Russian company, on bilateral agreement to complete the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Mr Baba Abdulrazak, President General of the congress, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that government should meet with TPE construction company to complete the remaining two per cent work for Ajaokuta to become operational.
He said the TPE company built Ajaokuta steel to its current level, adding that the Russians knew the remaining areas that should be completed.
He said that the company should not only complete the project but government should also concession the steel company to TPE to operate the project after completion for few years.
“The TPE is the original builder of Ajaokuta steel company; it has the requisite technology and manpower to bring the company on board.
“We are not against government reconcessioning the steel company but it should be given to a company that is trust worthy, that has history on steel business, that is why we want government to give the company to TPE,” he said.
In 1979, during the administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, TPE, a leading engineering company, commenced construction works on Ajaokuta steel company Limited which lasted till 1994.
In 1990, as the project approached completion, TPE on monthly bases for 4 years, wrote to the Federal Government reminding it of the need to commence work on the necessary infrastructure needed to successfully operate the steel company.
TPE also suggested the possibility of dredging River Niger which could offer a better and more convenient route of importing raw materials but the then government never yielded to the advice.
He also advised the government to dredge River Niger and construct rail to Ajaokuta to enable easy movement of industrial materials for steel products.
“Government should access loan from a financial home for the construction of rail and for the completion of Ajaokuta steel.”