The Federal Government of Nigeria has been advised to seek voluntary donations as alternative source of funding for the revival of the moribund Ajaokuta Steel Industry.
The advice was one of the resolutions contained in the Communique of the just concluded National Conference on Ajaokuta Steel Project and President Muhammadu Buhari Industrialization Agenda.
Speaking at the event and adopted by the over 60 participants, Ambassador Johnson Onoja, a member of the National Planning Committee representing Benue state and the Executive Director of New Generation Youth Initiative, Makurdi proposed that since one of the critical issues confronting the quick resusitation of the steel plant is funding, government should consider alternative sources of funding, such as donations by well-meaning individuals to support the government’s fundraising ideas.
Ambassador Onoja argued that in the last 30 years or so, the problem the government put forward is lack of funds to meet the budgetary provision for Ajaokuta. He therefore reasoned that Nigeria has enough wealthy and patriotic citizens that can bail out the ailing industry.
“We cannot continue to wait for foreign funding in the midst of plenty in the country. Let us ask Nigerians to donate towards reviving Ajaokuta Steel Company” he concluded.
The one-day conference was held at the Army Resource Centre, Asokoro, Abuja with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation declaring it open. The Ministers of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, as well as his Science, Technology and Innovation counterpart, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu delivered keynote and special address respectively.