Expert Counsels FG to Allow Ajaokuta Steel Coy Handle Proposed ₦836m COVID-19 Oxygen Centres

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The federal government have been advised to reduce wastages on the proposed augmentation of COVID 19 Oxygen Centres in all 36 states of the federation and allow Ajaokuta Steel Company handle the production.

The advice was given yesterday by a procurement expert, Mohammed Bougei Attah while reacting to the approval of a whopping sum of ₦836m by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday, to support the 36 States and the FCT COVID-19 oxygen plants.

Speaking to newsmen on the development, Mr. Attah who is the Project Director of NGO Network and Secretary of the National Planning Committee (NPC) for the upcoming National Conference on Ajaokuta Steel Project and President Mohammadu Buhari Industrialization Agenda, said “there’s no need for the Federal Government to establish oxygen plants in all the 36 States again since Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) has the capacity to meet the oxygen demand of the States”.

Furthermore, he said it amounts to wastage to invest in another project of this magnitude, having spent over ₦5.6 billion in June for the 36 States and the FCT of naira on the COVID-19 phenomenon at the initial stage, when Ajaokuta can effectively produce the oxygen for States.

He argued further that the “initial take-off grant to each State from the above sum and today’s approval of about ₦ 1bn are far above what ASCL needed to provide the oxygen.”

“With the known tradition of sustainability challenge, as it put to question the readiness of the Federal Government to deploy additional manpower by States and the Federal. Ajaokuta Steel Plant he maintained is well equipped with the machinery and manpower to produce this oxygen at very low cost to the government.

“A visit to the Steel Plant in June this year revealed that with about ₦ 631.5m naira as completion estimate of the Ajaokuta Oxygen Plant, over ₦ 20bn can be generated as revenue to government every year.”

He, therefore, advised the government to reduce wastages on building new plants but on reviving the moribund industries across Nigeria that can fill the gaps of revenue in many sectors of the country.

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