From Osakhare Erese Asaba
The Delta State Government has sought for a whopping sum of N900billion to resuscitate the moribund steel plant, others in the state.
Expectedly, the State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa had at the weekend resolved to revive moribund industries, despite the hash recession, that would boost wide process of providing employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the state, disclosed that over 36, 000 jobs had been provided through skills acquisition, STEPS and YAGEP. Dr. Okowa who recited to the allegation of poor administration and nonchalant steps to reviving moribund industries through Dr. Kingsley Emu, the State Commissioner for Economic Planning, said the decision of the governor to refloat the company, Delta Steel Plant, had generated lots of applause from various stakeholders, including Deltans in diaspora, and foreign investors, India’s Amittal Steel, its subsidiary, Tata Steel, and the Russian Steel Company.
Dr. Emu explained that the new joint venture project to ensure the steel plant, others will bounce back to production, has refinancing package coming from alternative project funding area which the Ministry of Economic Planning adequately packaged with due process in all its professionalism.
He said: “in a short while the DSC will bounce back with all its former glory, the new management had assured the host communities that their interest will be protected, and we understand that the company’s machinery, and equipment have virtually been reactivated, and ready to begin production as the Aladja industrial complex has been reconnected to the national power grid”.
The commissioner explained that with such increase in skill development, and need for equitable utilization of available natural and human resources, and quest for inclusiveness of host community development expectation, and aspiration, these never impetus have arisen for the state government to amicably address, adding: “this is why Okowa’s administration is eager to see a quick restoration of the erstwhile giant structure that provided economic mainstay during the second republic under Shehu Shagari, processed industrial raw materials like flat steel, iron rods, pipes, gas cylinders and ingots”. Expectedly, the Ovwian-Aladja Steel Development Company grew rapidly supplementing steel products from the Jos Steel Rolling Mill, Oshogbo Steel supplying nuts and bolts, and utilizing iron ores from Ajaokuta and the Itakpe Iron Smelting Company Kogi State.
The company employed over 3, 000 workers, and it had a skilled workforce that was a big pillar to then Bendel State Government, including railway line as direct infrastructure network in Ajaokuta another motivating factor for its refurbishing.
This is seen as a prelude for the long awaited Lagos east network project for national industrial supply chain cohesion aimed at reducing cost production.