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Jos Steel Rolling Mill To Come Alive With 50MW Power Plant

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THE management of Zuma Steel West Africa Limited, owner of Jos Rolling Mills, said it would soon conclude the construction of a 50 Mega watt (MW) of coal fuelled power plant that would supply electricity needed for the commencement of early production activities at the mill. 

    The company’s chief Executive Officer, Dr. Innocent Ezumma told newsmen in Jos, recently, that the company had already signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with West Gold Group for the supply of coal  to the rolling mill when finally rehabilitated and reopened.  That is expected to be the major source of power 

     He said the coal supply agreement was for 25years as N150 million had been earmarked for coal mining activities in Kogi State, adding that already, his company had expended about $50 million on the coal power plant.

      The new plan to revive the steel company is on the heels of a court judgment, which resolved ownership dispute between Zuma Steel West Africa limited and its erstwhile partner, Jedan Holding. The Jos Rolling Mills was acquired from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in 2005 by FCO Limited.

       The company is the special purpose vehicle used for the mill’s acquisition, but soon after the acquisition from the BPE, FCO Limited, in the attempt to quickly revamp the mill and fulfill the post acquisition plan, divested its majority share holding in Zuma Steel West Africa Limited, that was incorporated to management the mill, to its partner Jaden Holding, subject to some conditions precedent in the agreement that were mutually agreed among the duo.   

   Unfortunately, Jaden Holdings was allegedly unable to meet the conditions precedent in the agreement, prompting the Core Investor, FCO to attempt the recovery of his divested shareholding in Zuma Steel West Africa from Jaden Holding. 

   This was to meet stiff resistance and acrimony, which led to the struggle for the control of the Mill between the two partners. The BPE also attempted to revoke sale. 

    This acrimonious development eventually led to the shut down in operations of the Mill, while the Core Investor, FCO approached a Federal High Court for a redress. At the court, FCO sought a relief to determine whether in view of the alleged failure of its partner, Jaden Holding, in Zuma West Africa Limited to meet the condition precedent in their agreement, it could still retain the majority shareholding, which was  divested to it

   The legal tussle which began on the 24th of April 2010 before Hon. Justice G. O. Kolawole took several twists and turns with final judgement delivered last October 23, handing over the majority shares in Zuma Steel West Africa Ltd ,to the core Investor, FCO Limited, with the directive that the core investor should immediately take steps to apply to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), to amend the shareholding structure of the company. 

  Reacting to the judgment  at the weekend in Abuja, the Core Investor and chairman chief executive officer of FCO Limited, owners of Zuma Steel Limited, Dr. Innocent Ezuma ,described the judgment as another victory for the judiciary  and a shining hope for entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

  He regretted that the controversy had delayed the revamping efforts of the Zuma Steel, although he gave the assurances that lost grounds would be recovered in no time to provide the needed impetus for industrialization of the country. He said that arrangements had since been concluded for the installation of a coal-fired power station to fire the Mill and other industries around the Jos Industrial Park.

   It would be recalled that the attempt by the Core Investor in the Mill to regain control of the company after its partner failed to comply with payment timelines for the 51 per cent equity shares allowed to itgenerated controversies between the two partners on the one hand, and the BPE, which liquidated the Mill and its assets for N880 million, on the other hand.



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