Barr.Onofiok Luke

The member representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Onofiok Luke, has told the federal government to revitalize the abandoned Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom state.

Luke, in a motion before the House of Representatives on Tuesday 24th February, said the aluminium smelter which serviced the Nigerian market with aluminium products and and its allied industries provided jobs for thousands of Nigerians, is lying waste for several years.

He wondered why the federal government could allow a company which employed over 1,820 permanent workers and 4,000 casual workers to rot.

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It will be recalled that ALSCON stopped operation on 6 June 1999 partly due to irreconcilable differences between some shareholders, lack of capital, insufficient gas supply and non-dredging of the Imo River.

The Lawmaker said despite the privatisation of ALSCON in 2004, operations are yet to start.

“The former staff of ALSCON and their families are facing hardship due to federal government’s failure to pay the retrenched staff their terminal benefits of N 2.3billion, having only paid N4million to them.”

Luke urged the federal government to take steps to revamp ALSCON, and pay the former staff of the company the remaining terminal benefits.

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He encouraged the leadership of the House of Representatives to invite the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise to brief the Committee on Steel Development on the current state of ALSCON.

Meanwhile, the House resolved that the Supreme Court judgment on the ownership of Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) be obeyed.