●Ministry insists asset’s ownership intact
The Federal Government has confirmed that “the entire concessioning arrangement” for the Ajaokuta Steel Complex has “crumbled.”
Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, which stated this in a statement, also debunked media reports credited to the director of Global Steel Holdings Limited (GSHL), Dr. S.O. Nwanbuokei, that the protracted litigation surrounding the ownership of the Ajaokuta affects ownership structure of the Steel Complex.
Dr. S. O. Nwanbuokei, an engineer, had earlier debunked a claim by the minister, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, that the protracted litigation surrounding Ajaokuta Steel company had been resolved.
Nwanbuokei, whose firm is a party to the dispute, said in a statement that he was not aware of the resolution, nor has a settlement been reached.
Reacting to this, the ministry in a statement, said that Ajaokuta Steel Complex belongs to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and that there was no contention about it.
“It must be stated clearly that concessioning of an asset does not make one lose the ownership of the asset. In the case of Ajaokuta Steel Complex, the Federal Government remained the actual owner of the asset, while the concessioning arrangement was in place. This situation has not changed after the entire concessioning arrangement crumbled,” the Ministry said.
“The Federal Government does not need any mediation to determine its ownership of Ajaokuta Steel Complex as the integrated steel complex has always been the property of Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The position of government is that having ceded the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe to GSHL, for the remaining concession period, as part of the agreement reached during the mediation, government would at the appropriate time take a decision on how best to put Ajaokuta Steel Complex to profitable use.
“This includes engaging a new core investor with proven financial and technical capacity to turn around, complete and run the steel complex profitably.”
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