Kaduna â€” The House of Representatives has advised the Federal Government not to go ahead with its plan to restructure the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) at this period of economic meltdown because it will lead to retrenchment of thousands of staff.
It, however, urged the government to embark on a technical audit of the company as recommended by experts to ascertain the level of alleged cannibalisation of equipment worth billions of naira by the foreign firm which the former administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo illegally and â€œclandestinelyâ€ signed a concession agreement with in 2003.
Chairman of the House Committee on Steel, Mr. Aminu Shehu Shagari made the position of the House known in an interview with newsmen in Kaduna, yesterday.
Shagari said that no nation can develop industrially without being a major producer of steel, pointing out that a visit to Brazil, South Korea, India, Iran, Pakistan and Malaysia will â€œconfirm the magic of steel in industrialising a nationâ€.
According to him, â€œThe multiplier effect of steel industry has been confirmed and is still the yardstick for any meaningful industrial development.â€
He further said that the federal administrations between 1986 and 1995 produced between 10 per cent and 15 percent of installed capacity at ASCL, but regretted that â€œthe disaster that became the standard of iron and steel industryâ€ started in 2003. By Emeka Mamah