By Folasade Folarin
President Muhammadu Buhari is to re-inaugurate the Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom, to enable it to re-commence production.
ALSCON has been comatose for over 10 years now.
The Director-General (D-G0, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh, gave the hint through the Head, Public Communications, BPE, Mrs Amina Othman, on Sunday in Abuja.
Okoh said that the BPE and other critical stakeholders of the company would reach a comprehensive resolution on the teething problem of gas price and supply confronting the company.
“Upon the resolution of the gas price and supply issues, a new agreement will be signed in line with the current realities.
“It will also take into considerations the trend internationally, to allow ALSCON remain competitive in the global aluminum products market,” he added.
He said that as the first step, the BPE had requested Federal Government’s consideration and approval for the categorisation of ALSCON under a strategic industry.
This, he said, was to enable it to buy gas at a concessionary price so that the core investor in the company – DHL/RUSAL – would recommence production and operate profitably.
He recalled that following the signing of Addendum Number 2 to the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) on Jan. 17, 2018, the investor provided a roadmap to the company’s recommencement of production.
The D-G said the document signed at the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, provided details on issues required for the operation of the company, including gas price and supply.
Okoh noted that when the company resumed operation, it would serve as a catalyst to the development and growth of aluminum industry in Nigeria.
He said that the resuscitation of ALSCON would also create employment, conserve foreign exchange, serve the automobile and allied industries and create spin-off industries in the country. (NAN)