Senate probes Ajaokuta Steel, NIOMCO over $496m payment 

The Senate Tuesday resolved to carry out a thorough investigation on the affairs of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the National Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) in Kogi state between 2008 and to date. 

It planned to unravel the mystery behind the payment of $496 million allegedly made to Mr. Pramod Mittal, Chairman Global Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (GINL) by the federal government in September 2022 as a settlement over said contractual disputes. 

It also resolved to investigate the circumstances that led to the re-concession of NIOMCO even when the initial concession agreement was validly terminated by the Umar Yar’Adua administration with a positive review by the International Chamber of Commerce, London.

Senate‘s resolutions to this effect were sequel to a motion sponsored by  Senator  Natasha Akpoti–Uduaghan ( PDP Kogi Central) and exhaustively debated by many of the senators.

She said the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCI) and the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) located in Kogi state were established sometime in the late 70s by the federal government with the potential to put Nigeria on the path of technological and industrial advancement and establish the country as one of the leading exporters of steel products in the world.

She lamented that decades after their establishment, the Ajaokuta steel mill, and NIOMCO have remained inoperative and unable to produce steel despite seeming efforts by several administrations due to a lack of earnest political will and bureaucratic corruption.

The Senate after debate on the motion, consequently set up a committee to be chaired by Senator Adeniyi Ayodele Adegbonmire (SAN) with senators Natasha Akpoti (Kogi Central), Onawo Mohamed (Nasarawa South), Joel Onowakpa (Delta), Onyesoh Allwell Heacho (Rivers East) Abdullahi Yahaya (Kebbi North), Sen Patrick Chukwuba Ndubueze (Imo North), Tokunbo Abiru (Lagos East) and Osita Ngwu (Enugu West) as members.


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