There is a renewed plan by the federal government to sell the Ajaokuta Steel Company, but Nigeria’s lawmakers, especially the lower chamber of parliament, the House of Representatives, is reported to be against the move.

Meanwhile, Thisday reports that Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who at the weekend led a delegation to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to confirm the veracity of the reported planned sale of the national asset, told journalists that the government has no plan to sell the facility.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had said the company was up for sale to raise more money to plug the deficit in the 2018 budget.

He had made the declaration when addressing the Nigerian delegation at the just concluded International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group meetings in Bali, Indonesia, saying more national assets, including the steel company, will soon be sold.

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When contacted to react to the latest news on the proposal to sell the company, one of the arrowheads of the lawmakers opposed to the sales, Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, member representing Ukwa West/East federal constituency of Abia State, told Thisday that such a plan cannot see the light of the day.

According to him, “The federal government cannot sell the Ajaokuta Steel Company. There are existing bills preventing such move, so I don’t think they will be thinking along the line of selling Ajaokuta steel.”

The House of Representatives recently adopted two bills seeking to prevent the concession of Ajaokuta Steel Company and to ensure its completion. With each sponsored by 301 lawmakers, the bills were introduced for first reading on March 21.

The other bill was for an act to amend the public enterprise privatisation and commercialisation Act.

The lawmakers resolved to use $1 billion from the federal government share in the excess crude revenue for the completion of the company.

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