By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL), Mr. Isah Joseph, has disclosed that the company since inception over 46 years ago has had a chequered history occasioned by an interplay of forces that has made the integrated commissioning of the steel plant elusive till date.
Joseph explained that there was so much misconception and misinformation about the process route and the steel plant. This, he hinted, was borne largely out of ignorance and some orchestrated campaign of calumny against the Nigerian state aimed at ensuring that the country remains perpetually a dumping ground for steel products from the developed nations.
The sole administrator while delivering his speech, during the visit of the Ministerial Team and Media Executives to the plant in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, said: “It is a known fact that the pen profession has always played a significant role in shaping the course of history and events and given your status as an influential force in government and politics, your visit is noteworthy.
“We will leverage on your immense power to alert the nation on the state of affairs here and hence positively change the narrative of this strategic sector towards realising our dream of becoming a steel producing nation.”
According to him, “The Nigerian steel sector qualifies for the declaration of national state of emergency by government. Strategic industries like ours cannot be completely left to the vagaries of the private sector alone before its maturity. This is because there are numerous socio-economic benefits that cannot be quantified in terms of naira and kobo that will accrue from the full blown development of the steel sector, which requires the steering guidance and patronage of government.”