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Ajaokuta Steel to undergo privatisation….again!

Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki has revealed, that the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) is to undergo another process to privatise it.

Dikki explained that as soon as the Federal Government secured as amicable resolution of the ongoing legal tussle with the initial concessionaires, ASCL-Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (GINL), the multi billion naira steel plant the privatization process would commence

It would be recalled, that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel, concessioned the multi-billion naira plant to GINL but no significant progress was made by the investor to turn around the company, prompting the government to attempt to take the company back which has resulted in the on-going legal tussle.

Speaking on a breakfast program on Independent Television (ITV) recently, Dikki said the Federal Government was exploring an amicable resolution of all encumbrances with the core investor of ASCL-GINL.

 He said once that was done, the privatization process would commence.

Dikki added that the Federal Ministry of Justice was driving the process and “once the issues are resolved, Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited will be handed over to the Federal Government and we will begin another process of privatization”.

A statement from the BPE also quoted the DG as explaining that when resolved, the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) would be jointly owned by the Federal Government and the Global Infrastructure Holding Limited (GINL).

On allegations of interference by influential persons in the country to tilt the privatization program to their favour, the DG debunked the claims, saying that all transaction processes followed laid down procedures and in tune with world best practices.

Dikki said the Bureau had proposed the setting up of a Privatisation Tribunal to handle cases of privatized enterprises. He said the matter was receiving attention by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and that when approved, it would quicken the dispensation of justice in the over 200 cases the Bureau had in regular courts.

“The Privatization Tribunal will also enable us take decisive action against non-performing investors”, he stressed.

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