Tinubu: I’ll Ensure Full Completion, Operation of Ajaokuta Steel Company
Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia
The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday gave an assurance that his administration would ensure the full completion and operation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company under a viable Public-Private Partnership structure.
He also said that his administration would enact legislative reforms and forge strategic partnerships with private sector investors with requisite skills and proven capacity to support investment in the mining sector.
The APC’s presidential candidate stated this at a town hall meeting he held with mining and agro-processing stakeholders in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
The former Lagos State’s governor continued that he would prioritise the resuscitation of the nation’s economy through the development of the solid mineral sector, adding that Nigeria is richly blessed and can cater for itself.
He said: “Few nations are as well-endowed as Nigeria, given our industrious, energetic population and our vast inventory of land, water and natural resources. Our beloved nation has abundant, commercially viable solid mineral deposits such as coal, limestone, iron ore, bitumen, lead, zinc, gold and a variety of gemstones.
“It is the obligation of government to use these gifts wisely to benefit the nation and improve the living standards of the average Nigerian.”
Tinubu promised to make the Ajaokuta Steel Company fully operational again, adding that the mining sector would contribute more to the nation’s economy.
He continued: “We seek to turn this economy into a more active engine of growth, productivity, jobs and income. We seek to establish a broad-based economy that ensures broadly-shared prosperity for all.
“Solid minerals and mining will play key roles in our campaign toward prosperity and our economic offensive against poverty and underdevelopment.
“The solid minerals sector contributed less than 1.0 per cent to our GDP in 2020. We need to increase this amount every year. My administration will develop the solid minerals sector, establishing policies that will encourage investment for growth in that sector.
“My government will continue the progress and, in particular, shall focus on expanding the development of agro-industry to boost domestic food production and enable our farmers and industrialists to add value to their products.
“My agricultural policy encompasses the creation of storage facilities, affordable farm loans and mortgages, creation of modern agricultural hubs in each geopolitical zone amid other measures.”
In his welcome address, the Nasarawa State Governor, Mr. Abdullahi Sule, said that Tinubu’s engagement with the mining community would also afford them opportunity to know the economic potentials of the state in mining and agriculture.
Governor Sule listed 20 solid minerals in commercial quantity in the state, which included lead, gold, Barite, mable, zinc, among others.
“I thank Tinubu for visiting our states and our people have always wanted to see you to ask you questions and you are here to answer their questions,” Sule said.
The Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Governor Simon Lalong, has described the Lafia Town Hall meeting as another worthy engagement between the APC’s presidential candidate and critical stakeholders in Nasarawa State after similar events in Kano, Lagos and Niger States.
Lalong also said that Nasarawa is the home of huge solid mineral deposits that have remained untapped with attendant insecurity caused by illegal miners, promising that Tinubu as next president of Nigeria would squarely address it during his tenure.
He said: “Tinubu is a man with untainted records of solving challenges. We are lucky he is ready to serve our country at this time.”
Also speaking at the session, the APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, charged Tinubu to get ready to lead Nigeria to the Promised Land.
He re-echoed the position of President Muhammadu Buhari that all indicators and indications pointed to the fact that the APC presidential candidate is the next President of Nigeria.
Adamu said: “On mining sector, every local government in Nasarawa State has a solid mineral deposit. I don’t want to say Nasarawa has potentials, but I will say the huge opportunities are here.
“We are tired of potential in this country. We want to see the real things. Nigerians need to see the Action Plan of our candidate and they will see in details what Tinubu and our party want to do. We are convinced our tomorrow will be better than our today.”
The town hall meeting had in its attendance, the National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, House of Representatives Speaker; Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors Simon Lalong, Aminu Bello Masari, Babagana Zulum of Plateau, Katsina and Borno States respectively, as well as former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, among others.