Ajaokuta Steel: Rep. Dasuki accuses Mines and Steel Minister of Corruption
The House of Representatives on Thursday advised President Muhammadu Buhari to stop Mines and Steel Development Minister, Dr Kayode Fayemi, from concession moves of Ajaokuta Steel Company.
The House said that the stoppage was to give time for conclusion of review of the process ordered by the chamber as part of its drive to get the company back on stream.
The resolution followed a motion by Rep. Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara-APC) and 24 other lawmakers.
The motion is entitled “Urgent Need to Investigate the Circumstances under Which the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Engaged the Globally Discredited PricewaterhouseCoopers ( PwC ) to audit Ajaokuta Steel Complex for Purposes of Concession.”
Moving the motion, Yerima said he was aware that Fayemi recently announced, “and it was widely published’’, that Ajaokuta Steel Company would be given out on concession after an ongoing audit.
He disclosed that audit of the company was undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which he alleged, had been discredited, “having been sanctioned in India with a two-year audit ban for infractions of over one billion dollars’’.
The lawmaker said that the firm was also sanctioned in Brazil for which it paid 50 million dollars as fine, and was fined in the United Kingdom for 5.1 million pounds.
He also said that the firm paid 225 million dollars and 25 million dollars, respectively, as fines to TYCO shareholders in the U.S and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishiw for laundering money for Iran, Sudan and Myanmar.
He added that it was blacklisted for roles in terrorism and human rights abuses, among other infractions and irregularities in its operations, “which has left its reputation in tatters.”
Yerima expressed concern by the allegation that PricewaterhouseCoopers was informally engaged by Global Steel to assist and advise them on how to recover Ajaokuta Steel Company and National Iron Ore Company ( NIOMCO ), Itakpe, from the Federal Government.
He said he was worried that the minister engaged a company whose antecedents may suggest that they were engaged to audit and prepare reports which may skew the outcome in a pre-conceived manner.
According to him, it may have done to favour parties which the minister may have lined up or which may represent the interests of their former clients ( GINL ).
The legislator wondered why Bureau of Public Enterprises, and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission ( ICRC ), established by law, was not involved in the audit and concession process.
He accused Fayemi of deliberate plot to concession Ajaokuta Steel Company to a pre-determined group.
He decried the minister’s submission that government could no longer spend additional funds on the company “when he is already spending N2 billion for the concession process’’ and where Nigeria spent over 3.5 billion dollars on steel importation.
Yerima said since NIOMCO was handed again to Global Steel in “so called modified concession for a seven-year period with an option of a further 10 years, the plant which is integrated with Ajaokuta Steel Complex has remained moribund’’.
According to him, this development is an indication of likely failure of yet another concession.
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