THE Federal Government, on Wednesday, stated that it remained the actual owner of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.
Apparently reacting to a recent media reports which credited to a Director of Global Steel Holdings Limited (GSHL), Dr S.O. Nwanbuokei that the protracted litigation surrounding the ownership of the asset had not been resolved, the Federal Government, therefore, said the concessions arrangement was still in place and the situation has not changed after the entire concession arrangement crumbled.
This was contained in a press statement issued and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mohammed Abbas.
According to the statement, the ministry’s position, as stated by the minister, is that Ajaokuta Steel Complex belongs to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and there is no contention about this fact.
“The Federal Government does not need any mediation to determine its ownership of Ajaokuta Steel Complex as the integrated steel complex has always been the property of FGN.
“It must be stated clearly that concessions of an asset do not make one lose the ownership of the asset. In the case of Ajaokuta Steel Complex, the Federal Government remained the actual owner of the asset, while the conditioning arrangement was in place. This situation has not changed after the entire concession arrangement crumbled.
“The position of government is that having ceded the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe to GSHL, for the remaining concession period, as part of the agreement reached during the mediation, the government would at the appropriate time take a decision on how best to put Ajaokuta Steel Complex to profitable use. This includes engaging a new core investor with proven financial and technical capacity to turn around, complete and run the steel complex profitably”, the statement added.