The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, has said that Premium Steel and Mines Limited has helped the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to fulfilled the mandate of the ministry for steel development in Nigeria.
Fayemi stated this on Friday during the flag-off/commissioning of the first phase of the reactivation process of the integrated steel complex in Ovwian-Aladja, Delta State by Governor of Delta state, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa.
BigPen Online recalls that Premium Steel and Mines Limited had acquired the plant after Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, took over DSC seven years ago after the plant became comatose.
The Minister who was represented by Director of Steel in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Imem Ikprikpo, said Premium Steel and Mines Limited has helped fulfilled the mandate of the ministry for steel development in Nigeria, adding that PSML is the only steel plant in Nigeria with the capacity to produce steel from our local iron ore.
He added that the commissioning has invested much confidence in the Ministry towards achieving the federal government dreams of steel sufficiency and for export purposes, adding that the development will provide much employment opportunities for the teeming masses of unemployed youths in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the much awaited Rolling Mill of PSML, formerly known as Delta Steel Company, Governor Okowa charged the company to be conscious of the local content policy of the federal government in engaging the host communities in its employment policy.
Speaking at the ceremony, Okowa expressed delight at the resuscitation of the plant, which has been without activity for many years.
The Governor expressed optimism that all components of the plant would bounce back to life, saying that the state government was determined to ensure the company is fully resuscitated.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Mr. Prasanta Mishra in his address, expressed delight that after many months of laboring to reinvent the plant, the Aladja Steel Complex has started production of rolled products.
He said that there is hope of resuscitating other sections of the plant in the months ahead in order to bring about 50% import substitution of Nigeria’s long steel product consumption which is met principally by imports.
Mr. Mishra disclosed that the gestation period to get the one million ton liquid steel capacity plant to attain production level was littered with much challenges due to the terrible state the former investors left the plant.
“With sheer determination and uncommon show of irrepressible disposition, our team of world class engineers and technicians have labored hard to resuscitate the comatose plant and bring it back to life.
“The flag-off of the rolling mill will signpost the first bold step towards reinventing the entire integrated steel complex in order to realize the dreams of the founding fathers of this gigantic enterprise”, he said.
According to the Managing Director, besides being primed for profitable operations, the company is also prepared to touch the lives of Nigerians beyond tax payments, adding that the local communities will benefit immensely through accessible and affordable healthcare, employment, women empowerment and education.
‘’In the next phase, the company will strengthen its status as an integrated steel plant, going into backward integration right from the rolling mill to produce steel from iron ore. From iron ore, it will produce green pellets which will be processed through the DRI plant after which it will be charged into the melting furnace with cold briquettes and scrap metal to produce molten steel. Therefore it will be operating through the entire value-chain’’, he said.
He said that PSML was in business to hit a new benchmark in producing cost effective steel products without compromising standards or quality.
‘’This is in line with the industrialization policy of the federal government in reviving the steel and mines sector to boost the Nigerian economy’’, he added.
“As we all know, Nigeria is the largest economy in sub-Sahara Africa. The automobile, railway and other construction demands of the economy rely largely on steel. And the Delta region, where Premium Steel and Mines Limited is located is a most resourceful region in Nigeria.
“The target of PSML therefore is to provide premium construction grade products at reasonable rate in order to lay the foundation for a strong technological take off of industrialization of Nigeria which is not possible without a functional and productive steel sector.
“Owing to the rising cost of goods and services generally, construction cost has gone up by over 40%. We are in business to hit a new benchmark in producing cost effective steel products without compromising standards or quality”.
Managing Director of the Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru commended PSML for the giant strides in collaborating with AMCON in getting the plant resuscitated.
Kuru who was represented by Mr. Okorokwo Nwokwo, added that it was delightful to realize the dream of getting the Aladja Steel Complex back to production level seven years after the company was taken over by AMCON following the non-performance of the former investors. He charged PSML to sustain the production tempo so that Nigeria will begin to export steel products to other countries to earn foreign exchange for Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Delta State Chapter has said it is exceedingly pleased with the effort of the Federal Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari for its unending support for the restarting of steel production in Nigeria at the long-abandoned Premium Steel and Mines Limited (PSML), formerly Delta Steel Company (DSC) Ovwian/Aladja.
In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Engr Leonard Obibi, the party said the bouncing back of the plant has renewed Nigeria’s hope of steel production to serve as a backbone for the industrial development of the country.
“We also take special note of the continuous effort of the Federal Government to complete the long abandoned rail line running from Itakpe to Warri, as well as the planned connection of this rail line to Abuja and the entire Northern region. This will enhance the safe and massive movement of goods and services, and also open up the State to numerous business opportunities in the nearest future
“We are most grateful to Mr. President for this milestone achievement and we believe that the reactivation of this steel plant will further renew the hopes of Deltans and Nigerians at large that APC means well for our country, and there is no doubt that this strategic action will boost the socio-economic life of the surrounding host communities through accessible and affordable healthcare, employment, women empowerment and education”.