The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Federal Government to return the Ajaokuta Steel Complex to the original builders, Tyazhprmexport, the Russian firm, which originally started it in 1979.
Lawmakers argued that TPE would be the best firm to retake the plant in the government’s fresh bid to reactivate Ajaokuta steel.
“In 1994, TPE discontinued construction works at Ajaokuta Steel Complex due to the failure of the Federal Government to put in place the required external infrastructure needed for the operation of the plant,” the sponsor of the motion, Mr. Lawal Muhammadu-Idrisu, told the House as he led the debate.
He recalled that all efforts initiated by the government to revive the project after the Russians pulled out, including the 2005 concession of the plant to Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, had failed.
The House stated that the Russian firm should be granted the right of first refusal in the government’s new agenda for Ajaokuta steel.
The motion noted further that, “The House is aware that in 2002, upon invitation by the Federal Government, TPE carried out a technical audit of the plant in order to determine its status and was later contracted, in 2003 to reactivate and complete the plant.
“The plans were not actualised; instead the Federal Government granted concession to Solgas Energy, which was later revoked because the company did not have the technical and financial capacity to revive the plant.
By John Ameh, Abuja.