By Victoria Nnakaike, Lokoja
Nigerian Union of Mines Workers has called on the federal government to summon the political will and inject fund for the completion and operation of Ajaokuta steel plant in order to create jobs and revenue for the country.
Mohammed Abdulsalam Jimoh, chairman of the union made the call in Lokoja on Monday while interacting with journalists, adding that the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant , if completed is capable of generating over 500,000direct apart from the jobs that will be created under down stream industries that will crop up which would reduce 50 percent of unemployment rate that is trying to swallow our youths.
He said “Since one of the agenda of the President Buhari’s administration is to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth and to also fight the high rate of insecurity in the country , if the President can focus on Ajaokuta steel company and make the industry operational, significant percentages of the country’s unemployment problems will be solved permanently.
“Also if the power plant of Ajaokuta steel industry is functioning, it will add appreciable quantity of megawatts to the national grid and the issue of poor power supply will also be reduced tremendously.
“Therefore we are appealing to the federal government to summon the political will in the interest of Nigerians to complete the giant integrated steel plant in Africa”.
Jimoh equally stated that Ajaokuta steel industry and other rolling mills in the country are alternative to crude oil exploration, adding that the Sole Administrator Engr. Ismaila Abdul-Akaba has shown commitment toward the realization of functional steel industry if given the needed support by the federal government.
Speaking also, Haruna Ahmed Osike, a Human Rights Activist equally appealed to the Northern governors and members of the national Assembly to join hand in the rebirth of Ajaokuta Steel plant.
Osike also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to pay a one day working visit to the moribund steel company to enable him decide whether the industry should be allow to remain uncompleted ,stressing that government at all level can not keep on promising to create jobs when the sources of job creation remained dormant for over three decades.
“Ajaokuta steel is part of the programme of President Buhari and we are optimistic that he will fulfill his promise of completing the giant steel company during his tenure”.