OrderPaperToday– Minister for Solid Minerals and Steel Development, Mr. Kayode Fayemi has said the allocation of N9billion to the Ministry in the 2016 budget was for research on the way forward for minerals and steel development in the country.
Fayemi said the research became necessary since the Federal Government had spent about $10 billion since 1971 on the Ajaokuta Steel Company with nothing to show for it.
Fayemi, who was at a hearing set up by the Senate Committee on Power and Solid Minerals described the Ajaokuta Steel Company as a national embarrassment.
According to him, for a company with all forms of transportation- sea port, airport, rail lines that should connect to Itakpe Iron Ore Company, Ajaokuta still added zero value to the Nigerian economy.
He said it was in view of the $10 billion already sunk into the company that prompted the federal government to allocate N9 billion to solid minerals so that 2016 will serve as a year for research for the way forward.
The Minister insisted that government was committed to its diversification drive but would no longer allocate money for investment since the funds could be fruitless like it had in the past.