by Sunday Bassey
The Federal Government is to restart operations at the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria(ALSCON) in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom by the end of 2023.
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, made this known when he paid a courtesy visit on Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom in Government House in Uyo on Friday.
”President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that ALSCON in Ikot Abasi be revamped and reactivated before the end of the present administration.
“President Buhari has mandated that ALSCON should be reactivated as soon as possible, so we believe that before the end of this administration ALSCON will be running.
“A lot of approvals have been gotten from the Federal Executive Council, concession for the utilization of gas, so I believe with all the efforts put in place, ALSCON will be a glorious outcome,” Ogah explained.
He expressed optimism that at the end of the present administration, the company will commence operations.
The minister said that his two-day facility visit to ALSCON would ascertain the level of work at the company, and assured Akwa Ibom people that glorious days await the state soon.
He further explained that with the intervention of the Federal Government in the moribund status of the company, other legal issues would be resolved.
“It is a growing concern and we believe that they will be sorted out as we keep progressing, we believe that based on the intervention from the Federal Government all the legal issues will be resolved soon,” he noted.
He pointed out that the Federal Government seeks partnership with Akwa Ibom Government to create ease and a hitch-free atmosphere for solid mineral exploration in the state.
Ogah added that the collaboration would create opportunities for employment and wealth creation in the country.
“We believe that it’s time for Akwa Ibom to develop the solid minerals in the state, we are looking at how to synergize, to collaborate with the state government so that we can have good relationship between the Ministry of Mines and Steel and the state so that exploration of minerals in the state will be with ease and hitch-free.
“We seeking synergy and collaboration between the state and the Federal Government on how we can work together to harness the potentials of solid minerals in the state.
“There are a lot of solid minerals abundant in Akwa Ibom and we believe that the synergy we are creating will give rise to great opportunities that will lead to massive employment of the Nigerian youths and wealth creation for people,” he said.
Responding, Gov. Emmanel stated that the reactivation of ALSCON located in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom would stimulate the entire economy in the country.