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Ajaokuta: Prosecute GINL, collaborators for economic sabotage – Reps direct EFCC

…Ban firm from doing business in Nigeria …Want FG to inject $2bn to complete complex …Oppose new concessioning plans The House of Representatives on Thursday directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute the Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (GINL) and their local collaborators indicted in the mismanagement of Ajaokuta Steel Company for economic sabotage, in line with the directive of late President Musa Yar’Adua in 2008. This directive by the House to the anti-graft agency formed the major highlight of the nine-point recommendation of the ad hoc committee set up to investigate the failure of the Ajaokuta Steel Company to commence operations. Adopting the ad hoc committee’s report, the House further advised the federal government to ban GINL and its associates from further doing any business in the country because “its track record has been marred by duplicity and fraud”. Moreover, the House urged the federal government to demonstrate the political will to resuscitate the steel company by sourcing and disbursing about $2 billion needed to revamp as well as complete the two per cent of the external components of the project, which includes completing the external rail track system, access road linkages and the development of mining sites to ensure the steady supply of raw materials for uninterrupted steel production. While urging the government to in the national interest immediately terminate the reconcession agreement with GINL on August 1, 2016, based on an extant indictment against the firm, the House further stated that the federal government should cease any further thought of concessioning or reconcessioning of the nation’s steel companies, as there are capable hands in the country who can manage the companies under government control, if they are properly funded. Also, the House charged the government to use looted funds recovered from the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha to supplement funding for the completion of the Ajaokuta integrated steel plant. According to the House, both the GINL and all indicted local collaborators should be made to pay damages to the host communities that suffered loss of lives when the company used brutal force against its workers, who tried to stop the company from stripping and vandalising the assets of the concrssioned plants. It equally urged the federal government to revive relations with the original builders of the company (TPE of Russia) towards wooing them back to continue and complete the work they started at the Ajaokuta Steel Complex. Lastly, the House adopted the recommendation that the National Assembly must carry an accelerated action to ensure that the Ajaokuta Steel Company and the National Iron Ore Manufacturing Company, Itakpe, are removed from the list of public companies that can be privatised. Henry Omunu, Abuja

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