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Kogi labour kicks against sale of Ajaokuta Steel

The organised labour in Kogi State has vowed to resist any move by the Federal Government to concession or sale the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Complex…

The organised labour in Kogi State has vowed to resist any move by the Federal Government to concession or sale the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Complex located in Ajaokuta Town of the state.

The Kogi State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Com. Onuh Edoka, and the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Mine Workers (NUMW), Ajaokuta Steel Company chapter, Com. Momoh Jimoh Salami, made the position of the workers known on Wednesday at the May Day rally held at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja.

They said the Ajaokuta Steel Company remained a national asset which should not be discarded in the name of concessioning.

Instead, the labour leaders said the Federal Government should set machinery in motion towards making funds available for the completion of the plant.

Com. Salami particularly said that if Ajaokuta was operational, Nigeria would have no reason to complain of unemployment as the company could provide a minimum of 50,000 direct employment and thousands more of indirect employment for the teeming unemployed youths.

He lamented the role allegedly being played by world powers to frustrate the take-off of the company.

He also expressed concern about the recent decision of President Muhammad Buhari to decline assent to the resolution of the National Assembly calling on the Federal Government to withdraw $1bn from the excess crude account for the purpose of revamping the steel company.

Com. Salami, who is also the Chairman of the Ajaokuta Steel Workers Union ASWU), said by that singular action of not assenting to the bill, the workers felt betrayed and demoralised, adding that the move showed  that the Federal Government had not demonstrated any political will to revive the company.

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