By Nsikak Evans
OrderPaperToday – The Senate has urged the Federal Government to accelerate action on getting the Ajaokuta Steel Company to optimal production capacity.
In a motion raised by Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi) the senate also urged the Federal Government to undertake the immediate rehabilitation of rail-lines and dredging of the Waterways linking the steel company.
The motion expressed concerns about the limited growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria due to the absence of functional steel industry in the country.
The upper chamber therefore directed its committee on Power and Steel Development to undertake a holistic assessment of why the Ajaokuta steel company and other steel plants in Nigeria are not working and advance recommendations for their effective takeoff.
Senator representing Bayelsa East, Ben Murray Bruce expressed worry that despite 85% completion of the steel company, there is something fundamentally wrong that delays its completion.
Senator Bruce noted that the development of iron and steel is a key ingredient in the industrialization and development of infrastructures while the steel sector in developed economies is the highest employer of labour and is treated as strategic because of the positive multiplier effect on its employment.