13 October 2014, Abuja – Following the recent Supreme Court judgment, BFIG Consortium has taken over the management of Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom state.
The Chief Executive Officer of BFIG, Dr. Reuben Jaja, disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to the paramount ruler of Ikot Abasi, Edidem Joe Ntuk-Obom XII in his palace.
He explained that BFIG Corporation was given the right to purchase ALSCON after they had won a very competitive bid in 2004; regretting that ALSCON was instead given to another company called UC RUSAL.
The chief executive officer, who was in company of some US-based partners, said they were at the palace to inform the people of Ikot Abasi of the court judgment after 10 years of legal battle.
According to him, BFIG had been in legal battle to claim ALSCON since 2004 until September 30, 2014, when the Federal High Court gave them judgment for it to take over the company immediately.
“The judgment was clear; it approves the purchase agreement that both party have signed and ordered it to be implemented immediately.
“The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) should immediately takeover ALSCON and prepare it for handover to BFIG.
“It ordered that we have exclusive right, unrestricted access, unperturbed to go into ALSCON and conduct our due diligence, which includes; financial accounting, environmental, personnel and engineering assessment.
“It ordered the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies in the country to enforce the order. So these are the orders that came out from the last ruling and that is where we are.
“That is why we decided to come back home, meet our leaders and tell them that after 10 years of struggle, this is where we are, to takeover ALSCON immediately,” he said.
Jaja lamented that ALSCON was operating at 10 per cent capacity since inception, adding this was not good for a business organisation.
He promised to diversify the company operations by investing in other ventures apart from aluminum to create more jobs for the people.
Jaja said there are several components ALSCON could operate on apart from aluminum which would remain their main business; they would also focus on gas production, electricity generation and estate management.
“Apart from aluminum, there is power, about 540 mega watts of power, you see harbor which can take about three ships, you also see gas operation, you can see almost 50 billion cubic gas operations in a year.
“You can also see water; there is a very extensive water treatment plant and housing or estate development about 741 and telecommunications about four towers.
“And their laboratory is one of the best in the area that can conduct mineral analysis, we also have about 200 bed hospitals that could be improved or upgraded to provide health services to our people,” he said.
ALSCON, he said would be in the stock market within the first three years of operations to attract other investors into the company.
Responding, the paramount ruler said what the people of Ikot Abasi want is to see the company being at full production of aluminum and bring the people back to work without further delay.
Ntuk-Obom appealed to the company executive officer to absorb all the staffs that were laid off to reduce unemployment and curb insecurity in the state.
He pledged the people’s support and adequate security to the company as they are about to resume operations.
– Okon Bassey, This Day