By Chimezie Godfrey
The Federal Government has been advised to reduce wastages on the proposed augmentation of COVID-19 Oxygen Centres in all 36 States of the Federation and allow Ajaokuta Steel Company to produce the product.
The advice was given Wednesday by a Procurement Expert, Mohammed Bougei Attah while reacting to the approval of a whopping sum of ₦836m by the Federal Executive Council, FEC on Wednesday September 22, 2021 to support the 36 States and the FCT COVID 19 Oxygen Plants.
Speaking to newsmen on the development, Mr. Attah who is the Project Director of NGO Network and Secretary of the National Planning Committee (NPC) for the upcoming National Conference on Ajaokuta Steel Project and President Mohammadu Buhari Industrialization Agenda, said “there’s no need for the Federal Government to establish oxygen plants in all the 36 States again since Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) has the capacity to meet the oxygen demand of the States”.
Furthermore, he said it amounts to wastage to invest in another project of this magnitude, having spent over ₦ 5.6 billion in June for the 36 States and the FCT of naira on the COVID 19 phenomenon at the initial stage, when Ajaokuta can effectively produce the oxygen for States.
He argued further that the initial take-off grant to each State from the above sum and the approval of about ₦1bn are far above what ASCL needed to provide the oxygen.
Furthermore, he said Ajaokuta Steel Plant is well equipped with the machinery and manpower to produce this oxygen at very low cost to the Government.
A visit to the Steel Plant in June this year revealed that with about ₦ 631.5m naira as completion estimate of the Ajaokuta Oxygen Plant, over ₦ 20bn can be generated as revenue to government every year, he noted.
He therefore advised the government to reduce wastages on building new plants.Attah said resources should be deployed towards reviving the moribund industries across the Country that can fill the gaps of revenue in many sectors of the Country.