Despite promising to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company during his campaign in Kogi State, President Muhammadu Buhari has however stated that committing $1 billion for the completion of the the moribund company is not the best strategic options for Nigeria at this time.
This was part of the reasons the President stated for declining assent to the bill seeking appropriation of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account for the completion of the company.
In his words, the Nation cannot afford to commit such an amount in the midst of competing priorities with long term social and economic impact that the funds can be alternatively deployed towards.
He said: “Bills which seeks to make an appropriation of revenues to fund public expenditure should be consolidated in the annual Appropriation Act such that these proposals pass through the traditional scrutiny that budget proposals are subjected to by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the National Assembly.
“Furthermore, as the Excess Crude Account Funds belong to the Federation, it would be proper to consult with the National Economic Council where the States are represented.
“Relevant stakeholders such as the Ministries of Mines and Steel Development, Industry, Trade and Investment were not fully consulted.
“The inputs of key stakeholders are necessary to create the optimal legal and regulatory framework as well as an institutional mechanism to adequately regulate the steel sector.”