A lawyer and social reformer, Barrister Natasha Akpoti, yesterday expressed delight over the determination exhibited by Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello to move Ajaokuta Steel Company forward.

Akpoti who spoke to newsmen in Abuja disagreed with the thinking in some quarters that her recent friendship with Governor Bello was for her own selfish purposes.

According to her, governor, Yahaya Bello Bello supports the call for TPE of Russia as technical partners and has openly appreciated the resilience of our advocacy

She also dismissed insinuations of being sponsored by some individuals in the country.

“In the past months, there have been some relationships between the Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello and myself. Clearly, we are collaborating towards an accelerated resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel Company amongst others. This alliance will no way overturn or tamper with our code of ethics and societal ethos which has laid the foundation upon which we seek economic justice for Ajaokuta Steel Company and her captive mine – National Iron Ore Company, Itakpe both in Kogi State”.

The leader of Ajaokuta/Itakpe Revival Movement provided what may well be an insight into the twists and turns in the journey to revive the steel company

“On the brighter side, Ajaokuta Steel Company is on a sure path of revival because the much needed political will is being stimulated across the tiers of government. I, alongside the reputable Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), African Iron and Steel Association (AISA) and a host of other professional stakeholders are working with the National Assembly to create a set of laws to establish a responsive and protective ecosystem for the steel sector. We are also advocating for the establishments of a Steel Development Authority (just like we had in the 70s).

“The rationale behind this is to promote the separation of powers which are presently mumbled up in the Ministry of Solid minerals. In essence, the Steel Authority shall oversee the operations and productivity of the steel sector; while the ministry shall serve as regulators for pricing, policy formulations and others. With all the right collaborations being set in place, however late, I have no doubt the resuscitation of Ajaokuta’s steel complex for the good of Nigeria will be a dream comes true” she added.

 

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