By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
Unless the new investors in Delta Steel Company otherwise known as Premium Steel and Mines Limited (PSML), Ovwian Aladja, Udu Local Government Area, put a halt to the alleged auction of property belonging to the company, host communities, have vowed never to fold their hands and watch the new investors perpetrate their evil.
The communities revealed that if the act continues, the new operators should be ready to face the wrath of the people just as they declared “it is now obvious that PSML lack the capacity to revive the company and bring it to production level”.
“We can no longer fold our hands to watch the company being sold off like scraps. At the point of sale to the current investors, DSC was valued at well over 185billion dollars. We cannot allow any unserious investor toy with this huge asset. PSML must revive DSC or pack and go for a more serious investor to take over”, the Udu people declared.
This is contained in a letter the community Presidents which made up the Host Communities wrote to the Managing Director and CEO of Premium Steel and Mines Limited.
The letter was signed by the leadership of Udu host communities: Chief Matthew Uparan, President, Ovwian Community, Ellias Dogene, President, Aladja Community, Emmanuel Kpomanefe, President, Ekete Community, Victor Maveruo, President Orhuwhorun Community as well as serving Councilors of Udu local Government Council from the core-Host communities, made available to newsmen, the communities warned that PSML would face the full wrath of the communities if the sales of DSC assets by the current investors continue, as the safety of the staff of the company would no longer be guaranteed in Udu land.
“Whereas Premium Steel and Mines Limited acquired the assets of the old DSC with the sole aim of revamping the moribund largest Steel Complex in Nigeria, but to our chagrin, for over three years of Premium Steel take-over of the plant, production has not begun, rather, what we see is PSML stripping of the assets of DSC to the disadvantage of Nigerians.
“As host communities, our concern is to see the DSC plant producing and working to full capacity to provide gainful employment and empowerment to our teeming youths. But this hope has been dashed as PSML has embarked on massive sales of huge and invaluable assets of the company’’, the communities declared in the letter”.
They also declared that they would not fold their hands to watch the huge federal government investment cannibalized under their watch and do nothing about it.
According to the communities, in the last three years, the new investors have enjoyed their cooperation, saying that PSML lacked the technical and financial abilities to revive the plant to full capacity.
“After the misadventure of the former investors which open the doors for the current investors to come in, the company only started to operate the Rolling Mill which is the last in the chain of production only in 2018. To sustain the skeletal production of rolled products, the company has had to rely on massive cannibalization of the other plants which they lack the capacity to operate.
“We have weighty evidences with pictorial proof of heavy assets stripping going on in the plant and steel townships. Apart from the heavy equipment in the plants being moved out by the current investors, other support units of the company are not being spared.
“One of such unit is the Siemens telephone exchange unit in both the plant and Steel Township. Two units of 4MVA Transformers in the plant have been sold and may have been moved out already. With what PSML are doing presently, when they eventually disappear just like their brother, GHIL, only the carcass of DSC, the pioneer steel company in Nigeria, would be left. We therefore call on government to intervene to halt the massive assets stripping presently going on”, they stated.
The communities also threatened to confiscate any truck carrying scraps from the company as PSML has failed to invest in the purchase of billets or source for scraps from outside for use of the rolling mill.
The communities also issued stern warning to management staff of the company to properly advise the investors to do the right thing or face the wrath of the people.