The host community of the Nigeria Iron Ore Mines Company (NIOMCO) has complained to the federal government to peg the plan to concession the company to Global Steel Holdings Limited.
The Udu community, in a petition letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, is particularly urging the federal government to rethink its moves on account of the precedence the Indian company left behind while it took charge of the Delta Steel Company.
The letter, signed under the name of Udu Traditional Council, an umbrella body for all indigenous ruling body in the area, noted that it aims to bring to government notice the strong reservation of the host communities over the alleged plans by the federal government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals, to concession the Nigerian Iron ore Mines Company (NIOMCO) at Itakpe to Global Steel Holdings Limited (GSHL), former (through BPE) investors at the old DSC.
According to the host communities, “it is contention that the unfortunate antecedents of GSHL when the company held sway at Delta Steel company (Aladja Steel Complex), are not conducive for any form of business partnership in Nigeria, at least not just now.
The history which includes, among others: the unsuccessful administration of the Aladja Steel Complex, the running aground of same, the accruement of monumental debts for the company and consequently the Nigeria Community, the subsequent abandonment of the steel company, and the court case between them and our country abroad, should be enough grounds for blacklisting.
“Secondly, NIOMCO is the only visible source of raw materials for the Nigerian steel sector- both Delta Steel and Ajaokuta Steel companies. Concessioning NIOMCO to this Indian firm therefore clearly spells doom for the entire Nigerian steel industry as it means not only tying the fortunes of the Nigerian steel industry to a known failed firm, but also to the whims and caprices of a known debtor who has vamoosed once, and may again.”
According to him, “This planned concessioning is the fears highlighted above and to avoid a repeat of the abysmally woeful performances which characterise the management of GSHL globally. Indeed, the circumstances under which this Indian company vamoosed and abandoned DSC, the stories surrounding the intervention by AMCON with the scarce funds of Nigeria to enable the new investors come on board the Nigeria steel industry etc are too green to be forgotten, or ignored so soon.
“One question calling for answer is: if Global steel has money enough to purchase and run NIOMCO, why did they owe that heavily for AMCON to come to the rescue?
“In our considered opinion, Mr. President and the two concerned ministers, to avert the race of damage-control soon after, must look well before leaping; take time; have a second look into the eyes of GSHL, and properly align yourself to a decision that would be in the best corporate and business interest of Nigeria.”