Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said the federal government had paid a total of $446 million to pay off Ajaokuta Steel Company’s statutory debt. He made the announcement on Thursday during the opening of the 19th round of the 2015 to 2023 Cabinet Operating System Scorecard series conducted by Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).
In his speech, the Minister of Information criticized the People’s Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar. He lied about his campaign promise to fix the problem at the Ayaokuta steel plant.
“About two weeks ago, during a pause in the campaign in Kogi state, the NDP presidential candidate, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, said that if his government is elected, it will solve the problems of the Ajaokuta steel company.
This is a fraudulent claim stemming from a desperate need for power. A bit of backstory tells us that the former vice president tore Nigerians apart when he made that promise. Ajaokuta was taken over by Global Steel Industry in 2004 by the regime of then President Olusegun Obasanjo. Who is responsible for this state privatization program? Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The concession, which proved to be a mess, was terminated by another PDP manager.
After the failure of the concession, the concessionaire Global Steel Industry sued Nigeria and sued for US$7 billion until the government of President Muhammadu Buhari intervened and finally paid the company US$496 million. This went on for 12 years. The outstanding balance of $50 million is expected to be paid in February.
He agreed to pay $250 million in a lump sum and pay the remainder in five instalments. To date, we have paid out a total of $446 million out of $496 million. We will make the final payment of $50 million next month and Ajaokuta will return it to us in full, ending a humiliating and unsuccessful concession by the government of which Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was Vice President,” he added. .
The minister concluded: If the former vice president has a solution to the Ajaokuta problem and did not implement it in 2004, then why should Nigerians trust him that he will do it almost 20 years later, in 2023? Apparently, the former vice president did not know about the current status of Ajaokuta, his settlements with concessionaires and payments. Without this information, how would you plan to revive the steel company?
Nigerians should be wary of snake oil dealers who will deceive you in order to deceive you. Decisions on Ajaokuta are not made by the people who, with dubious concessions, impede the development of the country’s steel industry. Attention Nigeria! Don’t let yourself be fooled twice!” Communications and Digital Economy Minister Isa Pantami also mentioned at the event that there were 66 cyber attacks that disrupted the virtual meetings of the Federal Executive Council in Europe.
Pantami said there have been more than 108 FEC virtual meetings since the October 2020 announcement of the National Federal Agency Virtual Engagement Policy. Of the 108 FEC virtual meetings held, 66 attacks were in Europe, he said, but they all failed.
The Minister said that all cases were registered and referred to the relevant authorities for consideration. He said the national virtual participation policy was created in order to formalize online government meetings such as B. FEC and State Council meetings. He said it saved the country over N47 billion, which could be used if it were physically opened in a virtual session.