In its bid to revamp the nation’s economy through the mineral and metals sector, the Federal Government has approved the supply of power to the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) to facilitate its return to full production capacity.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, made this known during his extensive tour of the ALSCON facility in Ikot-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State.
In a statement by the Head of Press and Public Relations Unit of the ministry, Mrs Etore Thomas, and made available to newsmen in Abuja, on Sunday, the minister said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval to connect the company to the national grid was a sign of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s commitment to ensuring that ALSCON is functional.
He was optimistic that the company could employ about two thousand Nigerians when it begins full operations, promising that the government would provide all necessary support to see the plant is up and running.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the Plant, Zavalov Dmitry, revealed that the plant was forced to shut down in 2014 due to a gas supply cut, adding that plans are ongoing to ensure that the company commence operation.
While applauding the government for approving the supply of power to the plant, the MD called for the provision of an alternative source of gas supply, saying “globally, industries that produce metal always have two sources of supply of gas.”
In his own, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals, Charles Udoh, applauded the Federal government’s decision to resuscitate the ALSCON Plant.
In a related development, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, during a meeting with stakeholders, enjoined operators to ensure they always obtain the relevant licences and pay due royalties to the Federation Account to enable the government to meet its obligations to the citizens.
Dr Ogah noted that with the above eight mineral resources in the state, it could create wealth for the people of Akwa Ibom, if the operators were willing to work together and synergize, urging them to 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, Udoh said 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 as to grow their businesses and benefit from the huge mining opportunities in the state.
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FULL TEXT: A viral post on WhatsApp is asking N-Power candidates to verify the status of their application and see if they have been shortlisted for the batch C cash grant…FG approves power supply to ALSCON to facilitate full production