The Northern Governors Forum has commended the Federal Government over its plans to resuscitate the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State.
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Chairman of the forum made the commendation in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Macham, on Tuesday in Jos.
Lalong expressed satisfaction with the commitment of the Federal Government towards ensuring that the complex, that had been in comatose for over four decades, become functional.
He described the inauguration of the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Inauguration Team by the Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, towards revamping the company in line with the agreement reached with Russia as a step in the right direction.
The Chairman commended President Muhammadu Buhari for remaining focused on fulfilling his desire to see that the complex bounce back to life.
Lalong said: “We note with great delight the unwavering resolve of Mr President to see that this complex which has been in comatose for decades becomes productive again.
“This move will help in the industrialisation of the country and boosting manufacturing.
“This dream, when realised, will not only create jobs but also assist the nation to add value to its abundant raw materials for domestic use and export.”
Lalong said the forum noted with delight that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Buhari remained committed to the realisation of the aspirations of Nigerians by ensuring that this national project was finally completed and put to use for the development of the nation.
He assured the President of the maximum support and cooperation of Northern Governors in seeing to the actualisation of this national priority, which to them, defied previous attempts.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the inauguration of the APPIT was part of the implementation of the agreement reached between Buhari and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, during the Russia-Africa Summit in 2019 in Sochi.
Both leaders agreed on the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant through a Government-to-Government agreement with funding from the Afreximbank and the Russian Export Centre.