'Okonjo-Iweala Behind Delay in Completion of Ajaokuta Steel Coy'
The Senator representing Kogi Central Senatorial District, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has fingered the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the brain behind the delay in the completion of the Ajeokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL).
Speaking at a book launch over the weekend in Abuja, the senator said that the minister and a couple of other people around President Goodluck Jonathan were responsible for the inability of the president to deliver on his promise of completing the steel company as he promised during his campaign.
He said, "Indeed the president made a pronouncement during his campaign, which we are trying to hold him to, when he came to Lokoja on his campaign train. He said that Ajeokuta Steel must be completed on his watch but the problem now is that the people around him, people like Okonjo-Iweala who have come from the World Bank trying to bring back those World Bank ideas, are stopping him."
The senator lamented that the World Bank do not want Nigeria to have a functional steel company because they have a ready market to export their steel in Nigeria.
According to him, "The World Bank does not want us to have our own so that they can continue to have a market in our states."
He maintained that for Nigeria to be among the top 20 economies in 2020, the government must not neglect the platform on which it can be achieved.
He further stressed that steel would rival the revenue the nation is currently generating from oil if the potentials in the sector are properly harnessed.
.......NKECHI ISAAC/LEADERSHIP, NIGERIA, MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2013