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Buhari rejects Bill seeking for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company

President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the National Food Security Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday rejected a bill seeking for the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.

The National Assembly had in February 2019 forwarded the Ajaokuta Completion Bill to him.

According to the letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki to his colleagues, Buhari rejected the bill because of infractions on extant laws, duplication of responsibilities of existing agencies and financial constraints.

He noted that voting $1billion from the Excess Crude Account for the Ajaokuta Steel Company was not the best strategic option for Nigeria at the moment.

“The nation cannot afford to commit such an amount in the midst of competing priorities with long-term social and economic impact that the funds can be alternatively deployed towards.

“Bills, which seek to make appropriation of revenues to fund public expenditure should be consolidated in the annual Appropriation Act, such that the proposals pass through the traditional scrutiny that budget proposals are subjected to by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the National Assembly.

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“Furthermore, as the Excess Crude Account Funds belong to the federation, it would be proper to consult with the National Economic Council where the states are represented.

“Relevant stakeholders, such as the Ministries of Mines and Steel Development, Industry, Trade and Investment, were not fully consulted.

“The inputs of key stakeholders are necessary to create the optimal legal and regulatory framework, as well as institutional mechanism to adequately regulate the steel sector,” the President said.

President Buhari also rejected other Bills including the Nigerian Aeronautical Search and Rescue Bill 2018; the Chartered Institute of Training and Development of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2018; the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Bill 2018; the National Housing Fund Bill 2018; the National Institute of Credit Administration Bill 2018; and the National Bio-technology Development Agency Bill 2018.

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