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Thursday, 20 December 2012 00:00
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Fed Govt commended on rescusitation of Ajaokuta Steel

The federal government has been commended for the move to rescusitate the steel sector of the country with the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the Ajaokuta Steel Mill by President Goodluck Jonathan.

This has further demonstrated the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to the completion and operation of the steel plant.

A non-governmental organization based in Kogi State, the Righteous On-Lookers Association, has said that the appointment of an Administrator for the uncompleted project, has further demonstrated the commitment of the present administration to the genuine development of the country and the steel industry.

In a statement signed by the patron of the association, Ahmed Adoke and made available to Journalists in Lokoja, yesterday, he noted that the federal government has acted in line with the wishes of the generality of Nigerians who have been praying for a viable alternative to crude oil.

He said in other to realize the dream of the steel project, the federal government should award all contracts for infrastructures and mines development that are required for the commissioning and continuous operation of the steel plant.

Adoke also stressed that in view of the positive technical audit report on the steel plant, the FGN should as a matter of urgency, call for expression of interest from world class steel plant contractors.

According to him such contractors must include the original erectors of the plant, this he said would fast tract early rehabilitation, completion and commissioning of the steel plant to avoid deterioration and attendant cost

He added that with the expiration of the 18 months operation of the steel plant during the performance guarantee test as contained in the global contract with the TPE of Russia, government may embark upon any viable option involving public private partnership, (PPP).

According Adoke, some completed units of the plant could be rehabilitated and put into commercial use within two to five months as spelt out by the audit report.

While allaying the fears of the government on the pending arbitration against the company, he said "the injunction from Arbitration panel is that the plant should not be given to a third party to operate before the determination of the case and not that the FGN who owns the steel plant should not operate or complete the steel plant."

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DEC122012