By Natasha Akpoti
SEGMENT 1 : GINL Contacted me
5 days ago (26th Dec. 2016) the owner of Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (GINL also known as GSHL) contacted me for peace talks. No. Its not Pramod Mittal, the Indian and famed owner of GINL. He is an Alhaji quite prominent in the circles of power especially during Jonathan’s administration. This wasn’t his first time contacting me. He first called me up on the 12th of August (after my Channel’s interview ) , on 16th and 18th August 2016. I met with him on these 3 August dates but didn’t oblige his 26th December’s call. From my interactions with him I deduced the following facts:
1. The pseudo partnerships of GINL-
– GINL is no longer owned by Pramod Mittal. Pramod Mittal’s presence at the 1st August 2016 NIOMCO Itakpe’s re-concession agreement signing was just part of the keeping – up – appearances-to –deceive Nigerians agreement between Pramod and Alhaji who is the present owner of GINL. This Alhaji has no expertise in operating mines. He is also not evidentially linked to GINL as most documents still bear Pramod Mittal to deceive Nigerians.
– Now that GINL has gotten NIOMCO Itakpe back, they want to acquire Ajaokuta steel complex too. Alhaji asked that I connect them with TyazhPromExport (TPE for short and original builders of Soviet Russia) as technical partners to facilitate their acquisition of Ajaokuta under a NEW NAME that would not connect the Nigerian public to GINL. Alhaji said he opted for Russia despite him being extremely connected to China (he chaired China’s largest construction firm in Nigeria) because he believe only the original builders will do sincere justice to Ajaokuta steel mill but if I refused to bring them on his board, he would go ahead to acquire Ajaokuta using his Chinese partners. I turned that down because I didn’t want to be a party to deceptive “underground” arrangements and manipulations.
2. The SYSTEM is extremely CORRUPT –
While innocent Nigerians are deceived into believing we are still dealing with “Indians”
– Gov. Bello Yahaya of Kogi state knows who the real owner of GINL is. As a matter of fact, while the “modified” concession agreement was taken place in the Vice President’s office on 1st August, Alhaji and Bello were celebrating in Bello’s Zone 4 residence in Abuja. Bello knows that Alhaji is technically incapable of resuscitating Itakpe but he had to self –service Alhaji who contributed efforts in Bello becoming a governor after late gov. Audu’s demise. Bello has not been supportive of my efforts and swore to oppose TPE because I am involved. Bello couldn’t put himself to tell the villa why he harbored such vendetta towards me but summed it to say “Natasha is anti Buhari and anti APC … look at how she attacks Fayemi”. In response, he was told that “No, Natasha isn’t against APC or the President, she is against corruption”.
Even though Ajaokuta is a federal project, you sit on the landlord’s seat. Ajaokuta is more important that you and APC. You need to learn how to put aside petty bitterness for the greater good of the people you SERVE. Remember that time and chance happens to us all. TIME and CHANCE. I will speak no more.
– Hon. Fayemi also knows of the pseudo arrangements between Pramod Mittal and Alhaji but is more interested in pleasing the cabals to the detriment of Nigeria. To think that in all of Fayemi’s media updates on Ajaokuta and Itakpe he refers to GINL as Indian owned is mind bugging and highly insulting to Nigeria’s intelligence. During Fayemi’s London “negotiation” trips, he met with Alhaji, but at the signing ceremony Fayemi met with Pramod Mittal. Was it so difficult to tell Nigerians who the real owners of GINL is /are? ITAKPE AND AJAOKUTA ARE PROJECTS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO NIGERIA TO BE FURTHER SHROUDED IN LIES AND DECEIT.
– Alhaji talked about the SYSTEM being so strong that it controls governors and even ministers. He admitted the Vice president acted innocently and in good faith while presiding over the NIOMCO re-concession. He said Nigeria had a good chance of getting Ajaokuta and Itakpe completely from the “Indian” GINL but the lackadaisical and corrupt nature of our political leaders made his capitalistic sense win GINL which he now owns.
SEGMENT 2 : Ex AGF Adoke and the Professional saboteurs
This is the toughest part to spill but Nigerians deserve to know why the steel sector like many other areas of their beloved country is in ruins. So here we go…
Hon Minister Kayode Fayemi told Nigerians that “Nigeria already agreed that we were liable to pay somewhere in the region of about $500 to $700m to GINL as estimated by BPE etc…”, and since Nigeria couldn’t afford that, it was agreed to give Itakpe back to the GINL in compensation for 7 years. Watch interview here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QncTGvQnl4
Nigerians listen carefully… WE WERE ALL DUPED and Fayemi was playing out Adoke’s script!!!
This is complicated but I shall break it down:
Like Halliburton and Malabu oil scandals, Ajaokuta and Itakpe suffered greatly in the hands of Adoke who happens to be a son of Itakpe’s soil. One would have expected utmost care in executing his duties as the then Attorney General of Nigeria and lead representative of Nigeria at the Arbitration proceedings instituted in the London Court of International Arbitration by the GINL against Nigeria on the termination of Ajaokuta and Itakpe concessions by late Yar’Adua. Alas, he betrayed Nigeria.
1. Nigeria had a very good chance of winning the arbitration case against the Indians as there was tons of evidence mainly from Inuwa Magaji’s report amongst others.
2. GINL feared the anticipated lose and engaged Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) to help them “work” victory out through Nigeria’s corridors of power.
3. PWC approached Alhaji who was a close ally to V.P. Sambo. Alhaji “discussed” with Adoke, spent a lot of money and a deal was struck.
4. Adoke sought an approval from President Jonathan for an out of court settlement. This ended the arbitration in London court and started the mediation process supervised by Mr. Philip Howell Richardson. The first mediation meeting was in London on the 15th February 2013.
5. A presidential committee was set up comprising of the V.P’s office, BPE, AGF, amongst other headed by the then Permanent Secretary Min. of Mines and Steel Mrs. E.B.P. Emurem.
6. THIS PRESIDENTIAL KANGAROO COMMITTEE INDICTED NIGERIA (LATE YAR’ADUA) GUILTY OF TERMINATING THE AJAOKUTA AND ITAKPE CONCESSIONS WITH GINL AND ESTIMATED DAMAGES TOTALING $525M PAYABLE TO GINL. (see attachment page 3 with Adoke’s signature).
7. The committee then arrived compensating GINL with 7 years of Itakpe Iron Ore since Nigeria had no such money to pay.
8. Adoke got a presidential approval to execute this “modified fraudulent re-concession agreement” on the 7th of January 2015 but failed in executing it because the then Minister of Mines and Steel Arch. Sada refused to be a part of the fraud.
9. Then came Hon. Fayemi, who executed the same contract Adoke drafted. Fayemi even replicated the exact same grammatical errors Adoke’s contract contained.
10. At the August 1st signing ceremony, Fayemi said there would be a joint forensic audit of the concessions and this is to be supervised by one of the top global four consultants. Please guess who he engaged? PRICE WATERHOUSE COOPERS. Yes. Fayemi engaged PWC to supervise GINL’s concession. The same consultants that GINL engaged in 2012 to help pull strong strings to save GINL from losing totally.
Dear Nigerians, it was NOT the London courts that indicted Nigeria guilty to the sum of $525m. It was a committee made up of selected self –serving Nigerians who manipulated the mediation judgments to the detriment of you and I. May we ask what parameters the committee used? $525m is no joke and we read clearly the Inuwa Magaji’s report which stated that there was no proof that GINL invested money in either Ajaokuta or Itakpe or Delta steel; rather there was proof of asset stripping which was sold in India.
2 weeks ago, Fayemi announced Ajaokuta would be fully operational by the end of next year. Why such lies? Lets ask him what happened to the business plan GINL was to submit to the government 105 days after 1st of August 2016 (which would have been mid November). Do you want to know the truth? GINL has fallen behind deadline and Fayemi in a bid to save face, extended it to 150 days. I urge every Nigerian to visit Itakpe and ask the ground staff exactly what is happening there. You will weep for Nigeria.
SEGMENT 3 : Obasanjo’s washed hands are still very dirty.
A lot of people ask why the call for the Original Builders return to their brainchild – Ajaokuta. Some even say the original builders are Ukrainians , some say Putin hates us and the evidence is his distance from Nigeria… This section will shock you.
Before I start, I would apologize to the Russian embassy for breaking my promise in keeping the Putin and Obasanjo letters away from the Nigerian public. I decided to publish them so Nigerians would know the truth and save ourselves from the merry-go-round of unfortunate events.
The following facts have been silenced and kept away from the Nigerian people.
1. On March 7th 2001, Obasanjo, Bola Ige amongst others visited Russia (Putin was the president then) and signed a bilateral agreement for the strengthening of relations and development of our steel sector and transfer of high technology amongst others.
2. This agreement led to Putin sending 40 experts from TPE (original builders) to conduct the technical evaluation of Ajaokuta steel plant. For 3 months the Russians worked along with Nigerian Russian trained engineers. They returned to Russia and prepared 6 volumes of detailed technical and the financial reports.
3. TPE’s submission required $421M for 1st phase completion (a Sulphuric Acid Plant and modification of Pig Cast Machines were additional variations made). President Obasanjo promised to release the money but months after, instructed NNPC to guarantee a $400m loan to be made available from BNP Paribas. This failed. ASCL Board and Management contacted UNIVERSAL GENERAL COMPANY (UGC), a UK Company, who agreed to grant a loan of $600m to ASCL and Putin directed with TPE to serve as Nigeria’s guarantors. BNP Paribas accepted.
4. Putin waited and waited for Obasanjo to meet up his own part of the agreement but Obasanjo was silent.
5. In March 2003, President Putin wrote to Obasanjo this letter below (Its translated but true version is attached):
MISTER Olusegun Obasanjo,
THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
5th of March 2003
N0 – 398
Dear Mr. President,
As we mentioned to you during our meetings in Moscow in March 2001, trade and economic cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Federal Republic of Nigeria has significant potential, good prospects for further development and deepening of relations.
One of the important directions of cooperation between our countries in this sphere, is the completion of construction and commissioning of metallurgical plant in Ajaokuta town. The realization of this plant would contribute to the solution of a number of economic and social challenges faced by Nigeria of a strategic nature, setting an example of partnership in the field of industry and high technologies, to lay the foundation for new joint plans in the energy sector, telecommunications and petroleum refining.
The Russian side has completed the preparation of technical proposals for the company in Ajaokuta and worked through issues of financial provision. We hope that the State enterprise VO “Tyazhpromexport” and his partner in Nigeria will soon be able to successfully conclude negotiations on this large-scale project and to begin its realization.
Using this opportunity, Mr President, I would like to confirm our mindset to a comprehensive strengthening of Russian-Nigerian relations.
6. 2 months after, on the 8th May 2003, President Obasanjo responded this to Putin (true version attached) :
Received by Embassy
8th of May 2003
PRESIDENT OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
Mr. Vladimir V. Putin,
President of Russian Federation
PRES/15 6th of May 2003
Dear Mr. President!
First of all, allow me to thank you for your kind message (meaning the message of Vladimir V. Putin on March 5 this year on the question of completion of Ajaokuta metallurgical plant – approx. Interpreter). Ajaokuta really occupies an important place in our agenda, and I appreciate the fact that you will also find this project a priority in our bilateral relations.
Using this opportunity, I want to express my appreciation for your prompt response to my request for the urgent delivery of SU-27 aircraft. As you know, I had a telephone conversation on this subject with the Chairman of the Government M. Kasyanov, who in accordance with your instructions ensured that the Russian Government will take all necessary measures for the supply of aircraft SU-27 as soon as possible.
Fortunately or unfortunately, urgency of the request which existed on telephone conversation with the Chairman of government decreased a little. Therefore we have to postponed purchase of the SU-27 planes for a while.
In conclusion, I would like to express to you my belief that numerous new challenges to international peace, security and development make it desirable to establish a permanent link between Nigeria and Russia to exchange views on actual issues of common interest. This could be accomplished by regular contacts between our Heads of State, and in some specific cases – between the national security advisers and Ministers of foreign affairs. Special situations could be of periodic consultations on strategic issues, including exchange on issues of international security views and information, including terrorism.
Nigeria sees Russia as a reliable partner and friend, appreciates its contribution to international peace and stability. In this regard, I would be very grateful if we could conduct consultations before “Group of Eight” summit. I am sure that cooperation with Russia will also strengthen the leading role of Nigeria as a guarantor of peace and stability in West Africa, in response to our common national interests in a broad international context..
Please accept my best wishes and the assurance of its highest consideration.
7. With the technical documents at hand, the very next month of June 2003, President Obasanjo concessioned NIOMCO and ASCL to SolGas Energy, an unqualified company with zero experience or capacity to operate a mine or steel plant. This company was headed by Seun Oyefeso who was close friends with Gbenga Obasanjo.
8. SolGas fumbled in confusion around Ajaokuta and Itakpe then illegally sub-consessioned to Pramod Mittal’s Isplat which was converted to GINL.
Fellow Nigerian’s if you were Putin how would you feel? Being betrayed by a president who visited and pleaded your attention back to Ajaokuta only to turn around the moment he had the relevant documents at hand.
GINL were not properly engaged by Nigeria in the first place. Yar’Adua terminated their contract and they took Nigeria to the arbitration in London. GINL then hired PWC who as professional saboteurs pulled corrupt strings and with the efforts of Adoke rewrote Nigeria to be guilty of economic crimes against her. Fayemi who was supposed to be an agent of change under President Buhari but served as a perfect weapon to finally stamp the evil plans of the cabals by giving Itakpe back to the now Nigerian owned GINL. To sign, seal and deliver the wretched deal unto our unborn generations he engaged the same PWC to supervise the transactions.
Dear hon. Fayemi,
You said President Buhari handed over the Chinese firm to you and directed you “work” with them. I have confirmed that Mr. President did no such thing. Remember when you briefed him on your Nickel discovery in Kaduna, he said “Thank you, but how about Ajaokuta? Are the Russians on ground?”. To which you responded, “I am working on it “.
No sir, you are not working on it. What you are working on is creating another kangaroo team of consultants headed by PwC amongst others who will supervise the Ajaokuta bid to produce your desired “technically and financially” qualified company.
Sir, you also know that Nigeria doesn’t owe GINL one penny. You know the presidential committee reports hold no water and that GINL should not spend a day in Itakpe not to talk of 7 years. Sadly more, you didn’t tell Nigerians that the GINL reconsession is renewable for additional 10 years. That means 17 years in all… Why sell Nigeria off for nothing? Why??
Sir, I don’t hate you but I despise the manner in which you toy with Nigeria even as she is hanging unto the thinnest thread for survival. Nigeria’s flesh is all gone and you still help the cabals to the break bones and feast on the marrow.
Please don’t bother reporting me to the national crime securities. I have reported myself already.
You know what again? I have also written to President Putin. Oh yes I did.
It’s a pity Nigerians like yourself forget history too fast for personal gains otherwise you should have given Russia the first chance of refusal concerning Ajaokuta. The ministry you occupy today exists because of Russia heads-on effort with the West, her IMF and Work Bank oranizations to see that Nigeria develops her solid minerals sector because the west only cared about the oil..
You of all people today should understand the strategic importance Steel (irrespective of the price today ) holds in international politics. You know that so many forces will prevent Ajaokuta from taking off and for that our steel sector needs a strong backbone that would fight for Nigeria’s good against all other nations who would want to tear us down again.
Sir, are you abreast with current affairs? Do you not see Egypt’s strategic alliance with Russia and how she has benefited $30b worth of investment from Russia this 2016 alone. Russia is building Africa’s largest industrial park by the Suez Canal which is going to create 77,000 direct jobs for the Egyptians (please read here ).
In April this year, Russia also commenced building a nuclear plant in Egypt. You know what? America never attempted to stop Egypt. I guess you know why.
It’s said that that when you move with great people, you become great. This is very true of Trump the president-elect of America who is the 2nd most powerful man in the world and Al-Sisi the president of Egypt who is 2016 most powerful man in Africa. What do they both have in common – they both defined their relationship with the number one man in the world – Putin. Read here
As I sign off this letter to you, I plead that you withdraw to your heart and PUT NIGERIA FIRST. The games the big consultants usually play will not be helpful this time around sir. Not at all. We all know that these consultants append their seals to shut the mouths of the masses …little wonder they never pointed out the NNPC frauds all these years of their consulting and auditing the oil sector.
Finally, I urge you to put in place an economic team and visit Putin. Let Russia say “No, Nigeria. We are not interested in developing your steel sector anymore” , then we can look elsewhere. Until then, please don’t go on a wild goose chase organizing a tendering and bid process of Ajaokuta and treat her like as a business.
Ajaokuta is a national service and needs economic partners not business partners to revive her.
Barr. Natasha Hadiza Akpoti