A lawyer and social reformer, Natasha Akpoti, has expressed confidence over the full take off of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, assuring that everything about the project will soon be resolved and that there was no cause for alarm as the company was on a sure path of revival.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the legal practitioner also expressed delight with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello to move Ajaokuta Steel Company forward.
She said, “on the brighter side, Ajaokuta Steel Company is on a sure path of revival because the much needed political will is being stimulated across the tiers of government.
I, alongside the reputable Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), African Iron and Steel Association (AISA) and a host of other professional stakeholders are working with the National Assembly to create a set of laws to establish a responsive and protective ecosystem for the steel sector.
“We are also advocating for the establishments of a Steel Development Authority, just like we had in the 70s. The rationale behind this is to promote the separation of powers which are presently mumbled up in the Ministry of Solid minerals.
In essence, the Steel Authority shall oversee the operations and productivity of the steel sector; while the ministry shall serve as regulators for pricing, policy formulations and others.
“With all the right collaborations being set in place, however late, I have no doubt the resuscitation of Ajaokuta’s steel complex for the good of Nigeria will be a dream come true.”
Speaking on the commitment of the KOgi State governor to see the actualization of the project, Akpoti said, “as a governor, Yahaya Bello must be met daily with tons of ideas, Ajaokuta Kogi Nigeria Limited could have been one of those he ventured into based on recommendations best available to him at that moment in time.
“I hold no brief for him and I still believe that in the spirit of democracy, his government owes an explanation to the good people of Nigeria. However, while focusing ahead, it’s good to know Bello supports the call for TPE of Russia as technical partners and has openly appreciated the resilience of our advocacy. So I chose to hold His Excellency to his words,” she said.
Akpoti who dismissed insinuations of being sponsored by some individuals in the country, also spoke on her friendship with Governor Bello, “In the past months, there has been some relationships forged between the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and myself, clearly, we are collaborating towards an accelerated resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Company amongst others.
“This alliance will no way overturn or tamper with our code of ethics and societal ethos which has laid the foundation upon which we seek economic justice for Ajaokuta Steel Company and her captive mine – National Iron Ore Company, Itakpe both in Kogi State.”
According to her, the involvement of the Kogi State Government in the alleged lopsided attempted acquisition of the steel complex via a vehicle registered as Ajaokuta Kogi Nigeria Limited as exposed during the March 1, 2018 presentation before the House of Representatives was true.