President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday revealed that his administration has so far spent over 400 million U.S. Dollars on Ajaokuta Steel Complex in the bid to reposition for proper take-off of operations.
The President disclosed this in Okene at a town hall meeting in the newly constructed Palace of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, while on his maiden visit to the state.
Buhari who was in the state to inaugurate “Legacy Projects” executed by Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration said Ajaokuta Steel project was dear to the heart of his administration.
He said that the steel Company which was inherited in moribund condition from previous administrations and was enmeshed in local and international commercial disputes.
Buhari said he was glad to say that through concerted efforts, his administration had rescued Ajaokuta Steel saying that the process had cost the Federal Government over 400 million U.S. Dollars.
He however added, “I consider it as money well spent as we move closer to achieving our objective of transforming Kogi State into Nigerian iron and steel powerhouse.
“The significance of making Ajaokuta steel working again is enormous as it will generate over 500,000 jobs for Nigerian youth and also generate high revenue for the state and the country in the tune of over 1.6 Billion Dollars annually”, he said.
The president revealed that progress was being made on the ongoing AKK gas plant embarked upon by his administration.
He urged Nigerians to be rest assured that his administration would pursue the issue of Ajaokuta steel company to its logical conclusion before leaving office as President of Nigeria.
He added that it would soon embark on cencessioning of the complex to a private investor with the right portfolio to make it work for Nigerians in general and Nigerians in particular.
The President lauded Gov. Yahaya Bello for the tremendous human and capital developments in the state and said he was highly impressed by the performance of the governor especially in the areas of security and project execution in the state .
“We are proud of him and we urged him to do more for the people and I am appealing to the people of Kogi state to support him so that he can achieve and deliver more dividends of democracy and achieve peace and development of the state.
Speaking earlier, Bello stated that Thursday inauguration of projects was very historic to the people of Kogi State and Ebiraland in particular.
He pointed out that when his administration came on board on 27th January, 2016, it was determined to serve the people of Kogi State adding that his government was determined to fulfil all the electioneering campaign promises to the people of the State.
“That is why I follow President Muhammadu Buhari’s footsteps. All the support you gave me has worked magic in Kogi State with litany of projects across Kogi State” governor stressed.
The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, His Royal Majesty, Dr Ado Ibrahim, who was represented by the Ohi Okengwe, HRH Alhaji Tijani Mohammed Anaje welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari to Kogi State .
The Royal Father thanked President Buhari for the the support and encouragement he has consistently given the State governor, saying, “if not for the support today events would have not been possible.”
Projects commissioned by the President during the visit include: Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) at Osara; Rice mill in Ejiba; Hospitals in Idah, Kabba and Okene; construction of roads in the three senatorial districts, GYB Model Science Secondary Schools, Adankolo among others.
Others are Reference Hospital, Okene; Agassa-Upogoro-Benin road, the new Ohinoyi of Ehiraland Palace among other projects.
President Muhammadu Buhari also inaugurated the Ganaja Junction Fly-over, the first of its kind in Kogi State as well as the ultra modern GYB Model Science Secondary School, Adankolo and the Muhammadu Buhari Square.
The President equally inaugurated some modern security vehicles equipped with state of the art equipment procured by Governor Bello’s administration to fight crime and criminality in the state.