demands inclusion in team
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA-MINERS under the auspices of Miners Association of Nigeria, MAN, Monday, commended the Federal Government over the inauguration of Ajaokuta Presidential Project Inauguration Team, APPIT, to resuscitate the steel giant.
This was stated by the National President of MAN, Kabir Kankara, in a chat with Vanguard, while speaking on the need to actualize the agreement signed in Sochi-Russia between President Muhammadu Buhari and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Kankara said it is a step in the right direction to place Nigeria on the path of industrialization and prosperity.
He said: “The inauguration of the presidential committee on Ajaokuta Steel Company by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, is a very welcomed development. In fact, it came when Nigeria is critically searching for a way out of the economic and industrial downturn created by the world economic glut and the catastrophe of the COVID-19 to the world economy in general.
“The resuscitation of the steel industrial giant which has been a white elephant project over the past decades will help the Nigerian government to reposition its economic direction for the better towards the realization of achievable economic growth and industrial growth through diversification.
“It is the hope of Miners Association of Nigeria that this will yield results as against series of economic agreements reached on the industry which never saw the light of the day after losing billions of dollars.”
The miners boss however, called for the inclusion of his members in the committee recently inaugurated, describing them as critical stakeholders in the industry, who also were ably represented in Sochi- Russia when President Buhari went to discuss and broker the diplomatic agreement.
“However, while we acknowledge the composition of the committee by the federal government with the Honorable Minister of Mines and Steel Development as co-chairman, we expected to see the Miners Association who are critical stakeholders to be part of the team.
“Most especially when most of the raw materials are expected to be sourced locally and that the Local Content policy of the government is expected to be vigorously pursued, and we Miners will be the main suppliers of these raw materials.
“So I call on the Honorable Minister to include members of the Miners Association to be part of this laudable project. This is more so when miners association was ably represented in Sochi- Russia when President Buhari went to discuss and broker the diplomatic agreement with the Federal Republic of Russia.
“This clearly shows our readiness and willingness to collaborate and partner with the government to make this dream becomes a reality. Because we will be the source and suppliers of the basic raw materials for the Ajaokuta Steel industry which hopefully will kick start the industrialization of our great country Nigeria”, he said.