Host communities to the old Delta Steel Company, now Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Ovwian-Aladja, Delta State, have warned the new investors to stop the sale of the company’s assets or face the wrath of the people.
The communities said it was now obvious that PSML lacked the capacity to revive the company and bring it to production level.
In a strongly-worded letter addressed to the Managing Director and CEO of Premium Steel and Mines Limited by the leaders of Udu host communities, including 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 councillors of Udu Local Government Council from the core host communities, the communities warned that PSML would face the full wrath of the communities if the sale of DSC assets continues.
They also said the safety of the staff of the company would not be guaranteed in Udu land.
Part of the letter reads: “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 the assets of DSC to the disadvantage of Nigerians.
“As host communities, our joy 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 said they would not fold their hands to watch the huge Federal Government investment cannibalised under their watch.
The communities argued that having cooperated with the company for three years, they were now convinced more than ever that PSML lacked the technical and financial muscle to revive the plant to full capacity.
After the misadventure of the former investors which opened 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 had had to rely on massive cannibalisation of the other plants which they lacked the capacity to operate.
The communities continued: “We have weighty evidence, 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 is 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 the government to intervene to halt the massive assets stripping presently going on.”
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