AJAOKUTA – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has pleaded with the Federal Government to quickly move and resuscitate the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd. (ASCL) in Kogi State.
The President of the Congress, Mr Abdul Waheed Omar, made the plea on Thursday in Ajaokuta while on an inspection visit to the company.
He said it was unbelievable that the government could allow the company to be wasting away after investing as much as five billion dollars on the project.
Omar, who described his visit to the company as unique, said that it would be difficult for the country to achieve its vision of becoming one of the best 20 economies in the world by year 2020 if the company was not quickly resuscitated and put on a sound track.
According to him, the company is critical in the ongoing efforts to create jobs for the teaming youths as it is capable of providing over 50,000 direct and indirect jobs if made to work and given proper attention.
He said that the organised labour would immediately commence the process of working on President Goodluck Jonathan and members of his economic team to come and pay a visit to the company as soon as possible.
‘’May be that will eventually change his (President) mind.
”I believe that all hope is not yet lost on the case of the company and I believe that Ajaokuta Steel Company will come back to life,” says Omar.
He commended the Sole Administrator of the company, Mr Joseph Onobere, and the entire staff for their commitment and sense of patriotism by ensuring that the company’s facilities were still largely intact in spite of several years of non-production.
Omar urged the workers not to despair as the company would soon bounce back.
In his remarks, Onobere said the company had experienced a lot of setbacks in the past due to inadequate funding.
He said that the company, if fully operational, was capable of providing over 10, 000 direct jobs and over 500, 000 indirect jobs for skilled and unskilled workers in the various downstream and upstream industries and services associated with steel production in the country.
Mr Saliu Otori, the National President of Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association (ISSSAN), appreciated the concern of the NLC President and the entire workers in the country, saying that keeping the company out of production all these years was detrimental to the economic growth and development of the country. (NAN)