L-R: Mr. Umar Murtala Sanda, of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON); Mr. Prasnata Mishra, Chief Executive Officer, Premium Steel and Mines Limited; Mazi Okoronkwo Onwukwe who represented Mr. Ahmed Kuru, AMCON MD/CEO and Mr. Jude Nwauzor, Head, Corporate Communications, AMCON at the commissioning of Premium Steel and Mines Limited in Ovwian-Aladja in Delta State…at the weekend
The Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa and the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi have commended the role Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) played in the resuscitation of the former Delta Steel Company Limited, which has been re-branded as Premium Steel and Mines Limited (PSML).
Dr. Okowa who spoke while formally commissioning the rejuvenated Premium Steel and Mines Limited, at an elaborate ceremony at the factory’s complex in Ovwian- Aladja in Delta State said, “We must appreciate AMCON for the very important role they played in being able to resolve the issues that surrounded the company without which we would not be here today commissioning Premium Steel and Mines Limited, which was previously known as Delta Steel Company Limited.”
According to the governor, such pivotal role AMCON played, which has led to Premium Steel and Mines Limited coming back to life with the huge investment by its new management led by Mr. Prasnata Mishra as Chief Executive Officer, should be a source of excitement to both the host community and Delta State at large.
He added, “It is a day of joy for all of us, one that have brought excitement to the Udu community and the good people of Delta State. We thank God that this steel company, which was abandoned for many years is coming back to life to the economic benefits of our people, the government of Delta State and the nation at large. We must therefore continue to appreciate AMCON and the Minister of Solid Minerals for making this possible.”
In the same vein, Minister of Solid Minerals represented by Mr. Ime Ekrikpo, Acting Director of Steel in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development also commended AMCON and the new owners of Premium Steel and Mines Limited for bringing the company back on stream when he said, “I thank AMCON and the resilience they showed in resolving all issues relating to Delta Steel, which eventually gave room for Premium Steel and Mines Limited to come onboard. We are willing to continue our partnership with AMCON and other relevant agencies of the government to revive as many ailing companies as possible, which would create millions of jobs for teaming youths in the country.”
In his address, Managing Director Chief Executive Officer of AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, took the governor and the attendant crowd down memory lane as to how strategic AMCON was in facilitated the whole process. Kuru who was represented by Mazi Okoronkwo Onwukwe said, “Your Excellency, I cannot fully express how happy we are to have been part of this massive development that will eternally change steel production narrative and its allied industries in Nigeria. What we are witnessing here today, which is the commissioning of this gigantic steel company in the country justifies AMCON’s resolve and commitment towards the resuscitation and stabilisation of challenged sectors in the Nigerian economy.
“For us in AMCON, today is a good day for several reasons. One of the many reasons is the fact that our dream of resuscitating steel production in Aladja, Delta State has finally come to pass. It would be recalled that AMCON took over the assets of the then Delta Steel Company (DSC) over seven years ago, following the non-performing status of the loans they took from several Nigerian banks, that ran into several billions of naira with the assets of the then DSC as collaterals. It is our expectation that in no distant time, the company would not only be in a position to satisfy local demand for steel in Nigeria, but would indeed be exporting to other West African countries and thus be earning forex for the country.”
According to Kuru, given the precarious financial situation in the company, AMCON worked so hard to see to the eventual recommencement of business in the factory, in line with the economic policy direction of the Federal Government of Nigeria. To actualise this delightful wish, AMCON sought for and got Premium Steel and Mines Limited, which is one of the leading Steel manufacturing companies in South-Saharan Africa to successfully acquire the assets of the defunct DSC and thereafter made huge and significant investments in the rehabilitation and resuscitation of the plant, in readiness for steel production.
Again he noted, “So this ceremony is the result of their determination and their unalloyed commitment to see to the recommencement of steel production here regardless of all odds. We congratulate them. The commencement of business here means that a high percentage of the huge foreign exchange (FOREX) usually expended in steel importation in Nigeria will be saved, while several thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly will be created in the community, the state and the country at large.
“In the same vein, the state government as well as the Federal Government would soon start earning revenue by way of taxes, just as the economic well-being of the good people of Delta State in particular will improve tremendously, given the multiplier effects on the economy of the community, the state and country as a whole. As a result of this singular economic entity, the community, the state and the country will never remain the same. The successful revival of this business has again shown that AMCON is indeed a major solution provider for ailing and dead companies in Nigeria.”
Kuru said AMCON was therefore calling on all debtors of AMCON to see the Corporation as partners in progress and therefore come forward to negotiate the resolution of their debts, adding, “For the avoidance of doubt, AMCON will not hesitate to go the whole hug in line with the AMCON Act 2010 as amended, for those debtors who prefer to remain recalcitrant.”