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Ajaokuta: You have case to answer, Reps tell Minister Fayemi

By Levinus Nwabughiogu
House of Representatives has admonished the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi to channel any new information arising from the alleged proposed concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company to the Adhoc Committee investigating the matter.

Fayemi
Fayemi

The House said that the Minister should not insult Nigerians with his latest outcry that he has not contracted any transaction adviser for the concession of the company.

Reacting to the development Friday night, the Spokesman of the House, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas who in a statement reiterated the decision of the Parliament to investigate the circumstances surrounding the “illegal concession of the steel company”, asked Fayemi to also deny that he had appointed PriceWaterhouseCoopers to undertake an audit of Ajaokuta Steel without due process.

Namdas in his statement also queried why Greenwich Trust Limited was acting on Ajaokuta including coming up with a report on the possible options open to government to reactivate  the steel complex.

It will be recalled that there was a running battle between the House and the Minister who refused to attend the sectoral debate held by the lawmakers on the company on March 1, 2018.

The development however prompted the House to slam a vote of no confidence on the Minister.

in turn, the Minister vowed never to honor any future invitation by the House.

The statement by Namdas read thus: “The House of Representatives’ attention has been drawn to a press statement issued by Mr Kayode Fayemi where he denied that the Ministry of Mines and Steel has contracted any transactional adviser for the concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company or any one at all.

“However, the House of Representatives stands by its position which was repeatedly acknowledged publicly in the past by Mr Fayemi that Greenwich Trust Limited has been acting in the capacity of transaction adviser for Ajaokuta Steel Company.

“As representatives of the Nigerian people, the House of Representatives has set up an Ad Hoc Committee to unravel the issues surrounding the renewed bid to Illegally concession Ajaokuta Steel  through the back door, by Mr Fayemi.

“If Mr Fayemi claims that no one has been hired as transaction adviser, is he also repudiating his Press Conference of last week on the appointment of  PriceWaterhouseCoopers to undertake an audit of Ajaokuta Steel without due process? On whose authority is Greenwich Trust Limited acting on Ajaokuta including coming up with a report on the possible options open to government to reactivate  the steel complex?

“Nigerians will not be fooled, deceived or hoodwinked on this matter because how do you explain that a company which has not yet been appointed started work and even submitted a report based on which  decisions relating to the future of Ajaokuta steel are being made?

“Is this not a clear case of abuse of office? For avoidance of doubt, the House of Representatives will continue in its resolve to ensure that Ajaokuta Steel Company is completed in the national interest.  In any case, any information or suggestion from the Ministry or Mr Kayode Fayemi or any stakeholder should now be channeled to the House Ad hoc Committee on Ajaokuta Steel Complex, charged with responsibility of investigating the issues and not through Press Releases or Press Conferences.”


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