From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Federal Government in its bid to ensure the nation’s economy is revamped through the Mineral and Metals Sector has approved the supply of power to ALSCON to facilitate its return to full production capacity.
The Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah disclosed this during his extensive tour of the ALSCON facility in Ikot-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State on Friday, 7th May, 2021.
The Minister in a statement released by his head of press,Tine-Lulun and made available to the media in Abuja on Sunday,stated that the Federal Exceutive Council approval to connect the Company to the National Grid is a sign of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration’s committenent to ensuring that ALSCON is functional, adding that the plant has great economic potential that would benefit not just Nigeria, but Africa.
He noted that the Company could employ about two thousand Nigerins when it began full operations. He therefore stated that the Federal Government will ensure it provide all necessary support to see the plant is up and running.
The Managing Director of the Plant, Zavalov Dmitry, revealed that the plant was forced to shut down in 2014 due to gas supply cut. He however disclosed
that the Company has began plans to restart the Plant.
While applauding the Federal Government for approving the supply of power to the Plant, he appealed for the provision of alternative source of gas supply as according to him, “globally, industries that produce metal always have two sources of supply of gas.”.
Also, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals, Charles Udoh stated the Akwa Ibom State Government support for Federal Government’s decision to resuscitate the ALSCON Plant. He disclosed that the State is committed to partner with the Federal Government to ensure that the Plant begin operations.
In a related development, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah during a meeting with Stakeholders enjoined operators to ensure they always obtain the relevant liences and pay due royalties to the Federation Account to enable Government meet its obligations to the citizens.
Ogah noted that with the above 8 mineral resources in the State, it could create wealth for the people of Akwa Ibom if the operators are willing to work together and synergize, adding that they should bridge the gap between the Federal and State Governments for the smooth running of the Sector in the State.
He tasked the Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals, Charles Udoh to follow up and resolve the issue of the Akwa-Ibom State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO).
Earlier, the Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals, Charles Udoh disclosed that with the approval of the Akwa Ibom Deep Sea Port, dredging business is going to increase in the State. He therefore tasked the miners to ensure they register and regularise their operations so they can grow their business and benefit from the huge mining opportunities in the State. He supported Federal Government’s strategy to have synergy so as to harness the benefit in the sector.
The miners appealed to the Ministry to help resolve the challenge of double and multiple taxation they are facing. They also enjoined the Ministry to assist them access loans to enable them buy equipment to grow their business.