Kogi Workers Reject Plans to Concession Ajaokuta Steel Company

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Kogi State workers have vowed to resist any attempt by the Federal government to concession the moribund Ajaokuta steel company.

The chairman of the Kogi State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Onu Edoka and the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Mines Workers , Ajaokuta Steel Company Chapter, Comrade Momohjimoh Salami made the position of the workers known on Wednesday at the May Day rally held at the confluence stadium, Lokoja.

According to the labour leaders, the Ajaokuta steel company is a national asset which should not be discarded in the name of concessioning. Instead, they said that government should set machinery in motion towards making funds available for the completion of the plant.

Comrade Momojimoh Salami particularly said that if Ajaokuta was operational, Nigeria would have no reason to complain of unemployment as the company could provide minimum of 50,000 direct employment and thousand more indirect employment for our teaming youths.

He lamented the role allegedly being  played by the world powers to frustrate the take off of the company.

“For their own selfish reason, the world powers of the United States of America, Britain and other European countries have continued to frustrate all efforts geared towards revamping the company and successive governments over the years have not demonstrated any political will”.

He also expressed concern about the recent decision of President Muhammad Buhari to decline accent to the resolution of the National Assembly calling of the Federal government to withdraw N1 billion dollars from excess crude account for the purpose of revamping Ajaokuta steel company.

Comrade Salami who is also the chairman, Ajaokuta steel workers Union said that that by that singular action of not accenting to the bill,the workers felt betrayed and demoralised and this have also shown that the federal government has not demonstrated any political will to revive the company.

Earlier, the Kogi state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC,Onu Edoka said that the Union condemned in totality any move to concession the company either in total or any part of the company.

Edoka in his address at the rally lamented the plight of Kogi workers which he described as pitiable in view of non payments of salaries as at when due.

“Workers in the state are being owed between 7 and 30 months depending on when they get clearance from the screening committee members.”

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