By MICHAEL EBOH
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP)’s Fact-Finding Committee on Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), has said that the allegation of asset stripping against UC Rusal–owners of the company was untrue as ALSCON’s machines and structures were intact.
Speaking after an assessment tour of the multi-million naira plant last week in Ikot-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Emmanuel Amadi, said that what was construed as asset stripping was the disposal of scraps, non-liquid assets, faulty and inactive equipment and their parts by UC Rusal.
He identified the parts as: spent anode butts; anode stems and yokes; aluminum metal pads; cathode and anode busbar; coke and pitch for anode production and cathode bars.
Amadi who led two other members of the NCP; Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, and Mr. Benson Upah, on the visit expressed displeasure over the closure of the plant, and urged the management to quickly develop and submit to the government, a business plan with timelines to keep the plant functional.
He also called for industrial harmony between the management of ALSCON, as its absence could jeopardise smooth operations of the company. The Chairman, while appealing to the management of the company to reconsider recalling some of the sacked union officials, revealed that the committee would immediately present the report of its findings to the NCP for necessary action.
Earlier, the Managing Director UC Rusal, Mr. Dmitriy Zaviyalov, told the committee that the falling prices of aluminum metals in the global market and lack of gas supply to the company were hampering the operations of the plant.
He said that between 2007 and 2012, Rusal had invested about N24.54billion in the plant, but due to teething problems, suspended production in March 2013.