Warri Youth Forum for Peace and Surveillance (WYFPS) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the Vaswani brothers and their company, Premium Steel and Mining Limited are investigated over alleged abandonment of Delta Steel Company which they acquired three years ago and now left to rot away.
It said it was shocked by a recent report published in an online newspaper that Premium Steel had abandoned Delta Steel which it took over from Federal Government in 2015.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja over the weekend, Chief Sunday Abel Ighodalo, President General of the group said after reading the report, the group called for a meeting where it was decided to undertake physical inspection of the steel plant, adding that what was written in the online report was far less than the damage Delta Steel had actually suffered under its present management.
“When we read the report, I called for an urgent meeting of stakeholders. We agreed to go to the steel plant site ourselves. Our discovery was shocking. The entire place is now like a ghost town completely taken over by bush. There is activity at the site to show that it a steel company as all equipments are covered with dust. The workers we saw were completely demoralised and down-casted,” Ighodalo said.
The group said that it was not enough for the government to deport the Vaswani brothers as was contained in the report, demanding rather that appropriate and requisite legal sanctions should be visited on them for their activities in the country which they alleged were deliberately planned to hurt the Nigerian economy.
“We recall that Obasanjo during his tenure ordered Nuhu Ribadu to deport the Vaswani brothers which Ribadu carried out. But they later found their ways into Nigeria during Yar’Adua’s presidency. This same people acquired Volkswagen of Nigeria and instead of putting the company into operations, they converted its facilities into warehouses where they store and hoard imported vegetable oil, rice, salt and various commodities. This is not good for the country.
“We read from the online report that President Buhari ordered Vaswani brothers out of Nigeria because of a deal which involved their shipment into Nigeria and supply of 700 troop movement vehicles to the government but who are the people still running their various companies in this country? Why should Delta Steel still be under their control after they have been sent out of Nigeria? There are many questions that we demand answers to,” the community leader said.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to show leadership once again and demand that explanations be given over this matter. We call on the Minister for Mining and Steel Development to visit Delta Steel so he can have first hand information on how Nigeria has been short-changed by Premium Steel and Mining Limited. This matter should not be swept under the carpet,” Chief Ighodalo demanded.
It would be recalled that an online newspaper, Freshnews.com had last week reported exclusively that Premium Steel and Mining Company owned by Vaswani brothers have completely abandoned Delta Steel Company Aladja which they acquired three years ago through what report said was a fraudulent process conducted by then management of Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) under the leadership of Dr. Mustapha Chike Obi.
Premium Steel and Mining Limited bought Delta Steel in June 2015 in a transaction that raised eyebrows and condemnations from Nigerians which led to investigations by anti-corruption agencies and different committees of the national assembly all of which recommended the termination of the contract. But like the proverbial cat with nine lives, the Vaswani brothers were able to push their way through and took over the plant site of the steel company.