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Reps probe Nigeria’s deal with Russia on Ajaokuta

Reps probe Nigeria’s deal with Russia on Ajaokuta

Ajaokuta Steel

The House of Representatives has begun investigation of the deal Nigeria signed with Russia on the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, alleging that details of the contract were not known to Nigerians.

The House resolved to carry out the investigation at the plenary on Tuesday following the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Uzoma Nkem-Abonta titled ‘Call for details of the agreement between Nigeria and Russia on the completion of the Ajaokuta steel company project.’

The House mandated the Committees on Steel; Treaties, Protocols and Agreements to interface with the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, on the agreement.

Also, the lawmakers mandated the House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements to review all extant treaties entered into by the Federal Government and other countries to ensure conformity with the Constitution.

Nkem-Abonta recalled that the 8th National Assembly passed the Ajaokuta Steel Completion Fund Bill in 2018 and transmitted it to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent, which was withheld.

The lawmaker said the bill had been reviewed and the concerns raised by the President addressed, re-gazetted and had passed first reading in the 9th House.

Nkem-Abonta further recalled that President Buhari was reported to have signed a government-to-government agreement with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, at the recently concluded Russian-Africa summit in Sochi for the Russian engineering and construction group, MetProm, to revive the company while the African Export-Import Bank would finance the project.

He, however, stated that Section 12 of the Constitution provided that no treaty between the federation and any other country “shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly.”

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