The minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite has, said that the Buhari government had been able to resolve all contending legal issues with the steel company and was in the process of concessioning it to a competent bidder.
After 12 years of legal battle, the Federal Government has successfully retrieved the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) from Global Steel, the Indian firm and concessionaire who took over the management of the company in 2007. The recovery of the multi- billion dollar investment came just as eleven foreign investors jostle for a fresh opportunity to take charge of the steel company.
He said that the major issue with the company was the concession that was done in 2005 by President Olusegun Obasanjo to Global Steel, which resulted in litigation and a demand of N7bn dollars by Global Steel.
The Minister disclosed these yesterday at a media briefing in Abuja. Adegbite said the concession of ASCL occurred during the twilight of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration has been an albatross to the organisation as things went sour shortly after and Global Steel headed to the courts. According to the minister, the litigants had demanded a huge compensation of $7billion from Nigeria for revoking the concession agreement but the Nigerian legal team was able to puncture most of their claims and at the end of the day both parties settled for $496 million. He said: “At Arbitration, Global said they had a receipt given to them by the Obasanjo administration for $250 million. “In 2022, if you look at the date, 15 years after, we paid only $496 million, less than double the receipt.”
“One of the major albatross on Ajaokuta was the concession that occurred under President Olusegun Obasanjo to Messers Global Steel Industries. Things went sour and they took us to court. The court case went on for about 12 years, but thanks to a patriotic Nigerian lawyer in the UK who handled the case very effectively.