The House of Representatives Committee on Steel on Friday called for concerted efforts by relevant authorities to ensure that the Ajaokuta Steel Mill located in Kogi State becomes fully operational.
Rep. Abdullahi Halims, the Chairman of the committee, made this appeal during an oversight visit with other members of the committee to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in Abuja.
Halims said that the facility would significantly contribute to the growth of the country when operational. He noted that the steel mill would create job opportunities, and also help to address the issue of insecurity arising from unemployment of the youths.
“To be succinct and precise, the purpose of this oversight/inspection is to see how the operations of the Ministry is faring.
“We also seek to gather information, identify challenges, build synergy, and look for ways to resolve issues that need government input through legislative actions,” the lawmaker said.
He noted further that the country was facing enormous challenges in human, social and economic development. Halims said that the increasing level of violence, insecurity, deepening poverty and inequalities were demoralising, adding that it is capable of inspiring action amongst political leaders.
“The country is enmeshed in political activities geared towards shaping the nation for the better, and visits such as this will broaden the horizon of political gladiators.
“The committee will help to see how government agencies through budgetary releases can foster and build confidence in the teeming youth through legislative engagements.
“I urge the ministry to work closely with our committee, for that way, we can together explore more opportunities for positive growth.”
Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, the Minister of State in the ministry, regretted that so far, no steel had been developed at the Mill.
Saraki said that the ministry was committed to working with relevant authorities to ensure it delivered on its mandate.