Poor understanding of steel technology hinders investment in Ajaokuta

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The chairman, Interim Management Committee of Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Company has attributed the lack of investment in the company to poor understanding of the importance of steel to the technological development of the nation.

Engr. Philip Umunnakwe who made the remarks over the weekend while speaking to journalists on the present state of the company, said that the poor understanding has made people to see the investment at the company as a wasteful venture.

He said that the Ajaokuta Integrated Steel Complex was conceived and steadily developed with the vision of erecting a Metallurgical Process Plant cum Engineering Complex that could be used to generate  upstream and downstream industrial and economic activities that are critical to diversification of the  economy into an industrial economy.

According to him, the project was embarked upon as a strategic industry and a foreign exchange saver and earner, adding that the plant was tagged as the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization.

The chairman advised that while government is working on the completion of the entire steel plant, the completed units of the plant should be put to operation to generate revenue and also provide employments thereby reducing restiveness and insecurity around the country.

Engr. Philip denied the allegations of fraud or misappropriation of funds as alleged by some members of staff of the company, saying   that they have cleared 13 months’ salary arrears of staff and ensured regular payment of government approved salary till date.

He said that the primary concern of the committee was to see how to get the 5, 000 highly trained staff of the two companies back to work and also reverse the zero budgetary allocations to the companies since 2008 except for personnel cost.

Author: Business

In : Nigeria

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