• Says APC delivered on all promises to Nigerians
• Praises Bello on security, projects execution
The $400 million spent to revive the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASC) in Kogi State is well-spent, President Muhammadu Buhari has said, adding that the benefits of the project to Nigeria far outweigh the investment.
The President, who stated this in Okene, Kogi State, yesterday, during a town hall meeting at the renovated Ohinoyi of Ebiraland’s Palace, also declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has delivered on the promises it made to Nigerians at all levels.
“We are an administration that prides itself in the fulfilment of its electoral promises to the Nigerian people, at both national and sub-national levels. This is why I am glad that we have an impressive array of legacy projects through your own state government as proof of our stewardship of Kogi.
“The APC administration has indelible footprints in Kogi. Among the many projects executed by the Federal Government are the Itakpe to Okene by-pass, Obajana to Kabba concrete road built by Dangote Industries Limited under our ‘Roads for Taxes Initiative’ (Executive Order 7) and the Itakpe to Warri railway service,” he told his audience.
Buhari said his administration “is working to reposition Kogi” as an investment hub through the activation of solid minerals in the state, particularly, the iron and steel sector.
His words: “No project that is dear to our hearts like the ASC, which we inherited in moribund condition from previous administrations.
“The steel company was in dispute, locally and internationally. I am glad to say that through our concerted efforts, we were able to settle the dispute by paying some money and the company is now ready for concession to competent private investors that will operationalise it for the people of Kogi and Nigerians at large.”
According to him, the Federal Government is in talks with a reputable United States-based company, which he hopes will materialise and the company will come back on stream.
“The significance of making ASC work again is enormous, as it will generate over 500,000 jobs for Nigerian youths and generate over $1.6 billion for the state and country yearly.
“Nigerians should be assured that my administration will pursue the issue of ASC to logical conclusion before I leave office as President,” he said.
The commissioning of the projects, Buhari added, is in realisation of his campaign promises to Kogi people.
His words, “I have been briefed by Governor Yahaya Bello for the numerous projects he has executed for the people, including Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) at Osara; Rice Mill in Ejiba; hospitals in Idah, Kabba and Okene, roads constructed in the three senatorial districts and GYB Model Secondary Schools.
“In Lokoja, there is a flyover project, the first of its kind in Kogi. The state plays host to AKK gas pipeline project that will be completed next year. This will boost the economic activities of the country and have a multiplier effect on the people of the state.”
He commended the performance of Governor Bello in the area of security and projects execution.
“We are proud of him and we urge him to do more for the people. I am appealing to the people of Kogi to support him, so that he can achieve and deliver more dividends of democracy and achieve peace and development of the state.
Bello, in his speech, said the President’s visit to commission projects in the state was historic in the lives of Kogi people.