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Manufacturers and experts have said privatisation of Ajaokuta Steel Company will yield better dividends than the facility being run by the government.

They spoke with our correspondent in separate interviews, maintaining that government-run business had never turned out to be a profitable venture but one that was prone to corruption and waste.

As such, they canvassed the sale of the national asset but urged the government to do such in a transparent manner.

 A business and investment consultant, Dr Vincent Nwani, pointed out that the government was not supposed to run business.


He said, “Ajaokuta needs to be run as a business and not as a government agency or non-profit organisation. It needs to be transferred to the private sector for proper management.

“The steel mills in Japan and other places worldwide are not run by the government but by private companies and they are very successful.

“The pending court case on Ajaokuta should be resolved and the facility should be given to private investors in a transparent and competitive manner.”

Nwani emphasised that steel industry everywhere in the world was the bone of development.

“If our steel mill is well managed, it will service the local industry and save us huge foreign exchange spent on importation and there will be multiple benefits derived including job creation and economic development,” he said.

Another expert and a professor of economics at the University of Uyo, Leo Ukpong, agreed that a private entity would reactivate the steel company and run it successfully.

He said, “Government-run business has a history of corruption and lack of continuity in cases where another administration takes over and quickly abandons the agreement entered into by his predecessor.

“The demand for steel is very high both domestically and globally. This would serve as an incentive to any private investor who will see the prospect of profit and market in the investment.”

For the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed, it is important that the steel company is converted to a profitable entity and one sure way of doing this will be to involve private investors.

He stressed that the investors must be the right kind of private investors who could turn the facility into a profit-making one.

He said even if it was done with the involvement of the government on a public-private partnership basis, the private investors must be given a free hand to operate, adding that such investors were usually many.

Ahmed said it was imperative this be done soon because there was a huge demand for steel in Nigeria.

Earlier, the former President, Nigerian Metallurgical Society, Prof Benjamin Adewuyi, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the completion of the steel complex during his second tenure.

Adewuyi who gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria said Buhari should ensure that the moribund steel company became operational in his second tenure to boost the economy.

He explained that the project when completed, arms, ammunition, and cars, among others, that were now being imported could be manufactured in the company.

He said, “Ajaokuta has the capacity to produce cars, arms for the military among others and can also provide massive employment for the youth.

“We are only deceiving ourselves that we are manufacturing cars locally. Without Ajaokuta steel functioning, we cannot manufacture our own cars.

“We have many brilliant youths among us that cannot carry out any innovation because we lack the materials they require, Mr President should revisit Ajaokuta Steel Company and kickstart the project.”



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  1. For years, I have always look at Ajaokuta Steel Mill as an industrial break through for Nigeria. Unfortunately. politicians and certain individuals whose vested interest is to milk out the Steal Mill for their own selfish, self centered end. No nation can survive industrial growth without a major steel mill. The original concept to set out the mill was quite laudable and reasonable for the growth of our economy. The master plan was a very timely projection for the take off of the anticipated industrial growth of the nation. However, it is never too late to catch up with the original concept. Let the concept be managed by private institution and individuals. The government should hands down it influence on the project by selling it to well mining corporate body that will realistically utilize the facilities for the benefit of creating employment opportunities to the teeming population of the country. The facilities at the Ajaokuta is great and can make available provision for over a million employment. Aside from the steel mill, the by products will contribute over five million additional employment. No doubt, the Central Bank will have enough foreign exchange so that there will be no more setting aside weekly provision to back up naira weakness. Nigeria will have tremendous accumulation of foreign exchange has most Africa and the developing countries would like to patronize the steel mill. Undoubtedly, Nigeria will surely see a unique development and our youths' skill will be fully utilized. Let the Federal Government take the Ajaokuta Steel Mill seriously. Let PMB give priority to the transfer of the Mill to serious minded individuals or corporate body that will turn the mill to a highly successful industry.

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