Posted by News Express | 5 August 2016 | 2,094 times
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, says part of the terms of agreement that led to the return of Global Infrastructure Holdings Limited for the revamping of the Nigeria Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe in Kogi State, is the return of Ajaokuta Steel Company to Nigeria.
Dr. Fayemi spoke on Sunrise Daily against the backdrop of criticisms of the decision by the federal government to invite a company whose contract was terminated by the administration of the late Musa Yar’adua.
He explained that what the government has done with the renegotiated contract is to take back Ajaokuta Steel Plant, which is in line with the administration’s campaign promises.
“We’ve been locked down in this endless arbitration for the past eight years preventing that particular promise that the President made to Nigerians to come to fruition.
“With all of our best efforts – legal, political, we came to a conclusion that there was no other way we could have accomplished that without giving something that will enable us to do so.
“Don’t forget this was a contract that was revoked and there was clearly a breach on the part of the Nigerian government when it revoked the contract.
“This is what led Global Steel Holding Company to take Nigeria to the London Court of Arbitration and that is what we have been dragging all these years.”
Dr Fayemi recalled that Nigeria had already admitted to being liable to pay up to the tune of 700 million dollars for what the company had invested in the concession.
“So we succeeded in getting Global Steel to release Ajaokuta without paying a dime.”
He went on to clarify, however, that the return of Global Steel is for the remaining period of the concession.
“It was a 10-year concession; three years had been completed before the revocation. Now there is seven years left of the concession and all that we have done is to allow Global Steel come and complete the concession.”
He said that a joint audit of the Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe has been initiated to be overseen by an independent audit firm as the federal government begins the process of the takeover of Ajaokuta Steel Company. (Channels TV)
•Photo shows Dr Fayemi.
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