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Senator Sampson Makes Case For ALSCON, As Senate Re-Investigates Ajaokuta Steel Co.

Senator Ekong Sampson, representing Akwa Ibom South in the National Assembly, has called for an investigation into the Aluminium Smelting Company (ALSCON), Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom State, to ascertain why such a ‘behemoth’ was lying waste and in paralysis’, for years.

Senator Sampson spoke at plenary yesterday, following debates on the motion ‘Urgent Need to Investigate Alleged Incidences of Corruption and Inefficiency at the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), located in Kogi State’, sponsored by Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan.

Taking the floor, Senator Sampson, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, bemoaned the sorry state of ALSCON, just like Ajaokuta, whom he said had been ‘lying prostrate and in paralysis’ for years now.

Senator Sampson highlighted that such a behemoth would have generated a lot of jobs for Nigerians and boosted the nation’s economy if it were functional.

He described the cases of Ajaokuta and ALSCON as ‘metaphors of rape and abandonment’.

Read Also: Nigeria Solid Mineral Sector Untapped Gold Mine – Senator Sampson

He decried how big industry players have used what he termed a ‘legal quagmire’ to frustrate the management takeover efforts and operational efficiency of these once fledging companies and called for thorough sectoral re-investigations into Ajaokuta, ALSCON, and other major facilities in the country.

Earlier in her motion, Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan noted that decades after their establishments, 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, in its resolutions, resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to re-investigate the affairs of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, NIOMCO, and other allied companies. The Senate also urged the Federal Government to review existing policies and laws on steel development with a view to adopting the strategic implementation plan for steel development.

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