Despite idleness, Ajaokuta Steel spends N29bn on personnel

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Ajaokuta Steel Complex has spent N29bn on personnel costs despite being moribund and not producing a sheet of steel, The Ravens NG gathered.

Reports showed that Federal Government allocated over N3bn to cover personnel costs at the Ajaokuta Steel Company each year under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, despite the company’s idleness.

The data were collated from the appropriation bill from 2016 to 2023 available on the website of the Budget Office of the Federation.

Between 2016 and 2023, a total of N29.35bn has been allocated to cover personnel costs for the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.

In 2016, the Federal Government budgeted N3.55bn for personnel costs, which was 90.79 per cent of the N3.91bn total expenditure budget of the steel plant.

By 2017, personnel cost allocation was N3.84bn, which was 89.92 per cent of the total allocation of N4.27bn.

The sum of N3.76bn was allocated to cover personnel costs at Ajaokuta Steel Plant in 2018. This was 89.74 per cent of the total expenditure budget of N4.19bn.

In 2021, the personnel cost was N3.89bn, which was 92.18 per cent of the total expenditure budget of N4.22bn.

A further breakdown showed that salaries and wages cost N3bn; allowances and social contribution took N846.5m; uniforms and other clothing took N2.5m; while refreshments and meals cost N1.8m. Fund was budgeted for only one project in 2021, which was the construction/provision of water facilities for N80m.

By 2022, the sum of N3.94bn was allocated for personnel costs, which was 88.14 per cent of the total N4.47bn expenditure budget for the Ajaokuta company.

A further breakdown showed that salaries and wages cost N3.01bn; allowances and social contribution took N924.6m; uniforms and other clothing cost N2.5m, while refreshments and meals cost N1.8m.

Funds were also budgeted for certain projects such as the maintenance of power facilities for N53.5m, construction/provision of water facilities for N87.7m, and lighting and security of the Ajaokuta steel plant at N27.5m.

In the proposed 2023 budget, the Federal Government allocated N3.58bn to cover personnel costs, which was 96.5 per cent of the N3.71bn expenditure budget for the steel plant.

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