Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdulkadir Muâ€™azu, has commended the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) on the reactivation of the companyâ€™s Thermal Power Plant which has been down for some time now.
Muâ€™azu, in a statement on Tuesday by the ministry, gave the commendation during his working visit to inspect facilities at the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL) and The National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited (NIOMCO), Itakpe, Kogi State.
He noted that the reactivation of the plant at ASCL will not only save the company the payment of electricity bills which could run into millions of naira but will also be a source of revenue generation for the company.
Muâ€™azu, while reiterating the federal government full commitment towards the resuscitation of ASCL, said: “There is the political will on the part of government towards resolving all issues surrounding ASCL.
“The present government under President Buhari is passionate about reviving the company and because the company is entangled in some legal issues, government would not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. Government is been careful, diligent and transparent in resolving the issues.”
The permanent secretary commended the management and staff of both ASCL and NIOMCO for safeguarding the national assets and providing security over the years to ensure that the equipment are not vandalised or stolen and reiterated government commitment towards resolving all issues surrounding the two companies.
He encouraged the staff to continue to be committed to their duties and support the government in its drive towards reviving the companies.
Also, while inspecting facilities at the National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited (NIOMCO), Itakpe, the permanent secretary said NIOMCO and the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development are partners in progress and appealed to all staff to be calm and cooperate with government in resolving every issue affecting NIOMCO.
Responding, the Sole Administrator, Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, while welcoming the permanent secretary and his entourage pledged the companyâ€™s readiness to cooperate with the government to revive the company.
According to him, “The company has under gone some restructuring and in the process of reactivating its power plant.
“When fully operational, the power plant can supply electricity to the company and the remaining will be linked to the National Grid.”
Similarly, the Sole Administrator, NIOMCO, Mr. Bernard Ifechi Nnagha, appreciated the ministry on the recent approval to defray the companyâ€™s old standing AEDC bill without which NIOMCO would have been disconnected from the national grid.
He acknowledged the present effort of the ministry towards improving workerâ€™s peculiar allowances which he said would be reciprocated with greater productivity.