The House of Representatives devoted quite some time on Thursday addressing the plan by the federal government to concess the Ajaokuta Steel Company. Lawmakers berated the Minister of Mines and Steel, Kayode Fayemi, for his determination to go ahead with moves to concession the company and said they would no longer refer to him as “honorable minister.”
Fayemi denied some of the claims by the lawmakers in a statement released yesterday evening, but the lawmakers are doubling down on their position.
Quotes: What Fayemi said vs. What the lawmakers said in a response released by House spokesman, Abdulrasak Namdas:
“The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has not contracted any transactional adviser for the concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel Company, as wrongly asserted by the House. The process for the appointment of a Transactional Adviser is on, but cannot be completed until it gets the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).“
House of Reps:
“The House of Representatives stands by its position which was repeatedly acknowledged publicly in the past by Mr Fayemi (See Punch Newspaper Report of 8 May 2017) that Greenwich Trust Limited has been acting in the capacity of transaction adviser for Ajaokuta Steel Company.”
“If Mr Fayemi claims that no one has been hired as transaction adviser, is he also repudiating his Press Conference of last week on the appointment of the internationally discredited and compromised PriceWaterhouseCoopers to undertake an audit of Ajaokuta Steel without due process? On whose authority is Greenwich Trust Limited acting on Ajaokuta including coming up with a report on the possible options open to government to reactivate the steel complex?
“Nigerians will not be fooled , deceived or hoodwinked on this matter because how do you explain that a company which has not yet been appointed started work and even submitted a report based on which decisions relating to the future of Ajaokuta steel are being made? Is this not a clear case of abuse of office?“
“We find it rather worrisome that the House of Representatives could devote an entire day to an issue that has not even arisen.”
House of Reps:
“As representatives of the Nigerian people, the House of Representatives has set up an Ad Hoc Committee to unravel the issues surrounding the renewed bid to ILLEGALLY CONCESSION AJAOKUTA STEEL through the back door, by Mr Fayemi.
“For avoidance of doubt, the House of Representatives will continue in its resolve to ensure that Ajaokuta Steel Company is completed in the national interest.”