The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has debunked the media reports, credited to one Dr S.O. Nwanbuokei, a director of Global Steel Holdings Limited (GSHL) that the protracted litigation surrounding the ownership of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex had not been resolved.
The ministry said Nwanbuokei’s claims contradicted the position of the Honourable Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who reaffirmed the Federal Government’s ownership of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, during the just concluded Nigerian Mining Week.
In a statement by the ministry, the minister declared that the Ajaokuta Steel Complex belongs to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and there was no contention about the fact.
The statement added, “The Federal Government does not need any mediation to determine its ownership of Ajaokuta Steel Complex as the integrated steel complex has always been the property of FGN.
“It must be stated clearly that concessioning of an asset does not make one lose the ownership of the asset. In the case of Ajaokuta Steel Complex, the Federal Government remained the actual owner of the asset, while the concesioning arrangement was in place. This situation has not changed after the entire concessioning arrangement crumbled.
“The position of government is that having ceded the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe to GSHL, for the remaining concession period, as part of the agreement reached during the mediation, government would at the appropriate time take a decision on how best to put Ajaokuta Steel Complex to profitable use. This include engaging a new core investor with proven financial and technical capacity to turn around, complete and run the steel complex profitably.”