The House of Representatives yesterday passed a vote of no confidence on the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the junior minister, Mr. Abubakar Bawa Bwari over their refusal to appear before them to shed light on the non-completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.
The House also resolved to set up an adhoc committee to probe into the rationale for purported moves to concession the Ajaokuta Steel complex.
The decision followed the adoption of a motion moved by the House leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila at the plenary presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
Gbajabiamila described the refusal by the duo to brief the House as not only contemptuous but an affront to the authority of the National Assembly.
The House Chief Whip, Mr. Ado Alhassan Doguwa applauded the Speaker for taking time out to visit the Ajaokuta Steel Company adding that it was unfortunate that the ministers chose not to cooperate with the House which is keen on exploring avenues of diversifying the economy.
The House minority whip, Mr. Yakubu Barde, described the ministers’ conduct as unbecoming adding it speaks volumes of the fact that they lack the competence to discharge their duties and responsibilities effectively.
Before the adoption of the motion, Speaker Dogara observed that the Sole Administrator of the plant, Mr. Samaila Abdul-Akaba also shunned invitation to shed light on the issue.
Dogara said the present state of Ajaokuta plant is more of an expressive metaphor of ineptitude and bad governance in the country over the years.
He said it was unfortunate that the country is yet to reap gain from the steel complex after investing over $5.1 billion on it.
Meanwhile, the ministry has insisted on concessioning of Ajaokuta Steel plant.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu, in a correspondence to the Speaker reiterated the ministry’s commitment to pursuing the process through the most open and transparent way to avoid the mistakes of the past.
The ministry faulted insinuations that there were dirty dealings in the plan to concession the plant.
It described as unfair allegations leveled against the two Ministers overseeing the ministry that they were behind such shady deals.
He expressed the desire by the ministers to work with the leadership of the national assembly to ensure completion of the process.
Reacting, the presidency blamed communication gap for the ministers’ absence.
In another development, the leadership of the National Assembly has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the amendments made to the constitution by the National Assembly and supported by state Houses of Assembly.
This charge was given yesterday evening by Speaker Dogara when the State Assembly speakers formally handed over the list of the amendments they passed to the National Assembly leadership.