From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Nigeria Union of Mines Workers has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to summon the political will and inject fund for the completion and operationalization of Ajaokuta steel plant to create jobs and revenue for the country.
Chairman of the union, Ajaokuta steel branch, Comrade, Mohammed Abdulsalam Jimoh who made the appeal in Lokoja over the weekend while interacting with newsmen, said the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant if completed is capable of generating over 50, 000 direct jobs aside the jobs that will be created under the down stream industries that will evolve which he noted can reduced 50 per cent of unemployment rate in the country.
“Since one of the agenda of the President Buhari’s administration is to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths 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.
“Apparently, most youths that indulge in various heinous crimes today was as a result of lack of jobs to engage them. Ajaokuta steel company stand a better and reliable source of addressing the unemployment challenges in the country”
“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” he said
Jimoh who said that Ajaokuta steel industry and other rolling mills in the country are alternative to crude oil, noted that the Sole Administrator of the company Engr. Ismaila Abdul-Akaba has shown commitment towards the realization of functional steel industry, appealing to government to give him the needed support to actualise his dream for the steel plant.
Also speaking, a human rights activist, Chief Haruna Ahmed Osike appealed to the northern governors and the members of the national assembly to be proactive in the quest to complete Ajaokuta steel plant.
Osike who also called on 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, said government at all level can not keep on promising to create jobs when the sources of job creation remained dormant for over three decades.