The National Assembly and the Presidency are heading for another show down over the contentious concession of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex with the Chairman, House special committee on Ajaokuta, Rep. Nkem-Abonta declaring that the House will override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto if he declines assenting to the bill compelling the federal government to complete the steel complex.
In passing the bill asking the government to spend $1 billion from its share of the excess crude account, the House also amended the National Council on Commercialization and Privatization (NCPC) by removing the steel complex from the list of public firms that can be privatized or commercialized.
Speaking to journalists at the weekend in Abuja, Rep. Nkem-Abonta declared that the benefits of completing the steel complex which had been moribund for over 30 years were enormous.
Apart from having the potential for making the country an industrialized nation, the lawmaker stated that the complex is capable of creating jobs for youth in the country and saving the huge foreign exchange spent on steel imports.
Rep. Nkem-Abonta added that under the new legislation passed by the House, states and local government can by their own volition contribute to the completion of the project.
According to him, beyond shooting Nigeria to the enviable height of a steel producing nation, create employment benefits, for over 75,000 Nigerians outside the ancillary jobs that will be opened from service companies that will service the steel firm.
“This is a project that the current administration, especially President Buhari should take serious because it will be his legacy that it was during his tenure that the country finally became an industrialized nation.
‘’Anybody who is opposing the Ajaokuta completion law is an enemy of Nigeria, who does not want the country to develop,” he added.
Moreover, he stated that it will be a credit to the Buhari administration if he signs the bill into law and supports the completion of the project, insisting that he was confident that the president against all odds will sing the Ajaokuta completion bill into law.
“It will be a credit. He should sign the bill into law so that Ajaoukta will be the project he will go home with, but if he declines, l can assure you that we will veto him,” he added.