‘Poor privatisation, unused metal industries cost Nigeria N54.2tr yearly’
Nigeria may be losing over N54.2 trillion yearly due to poor privatisation deals, closures and total neglect of the nation’s metal industries.
Chief Coordinator, Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (ICEN), Friday Udoh, said this, just as he noted that the proposed commercialisation of Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, may even threaten the recovery of these metals capped production capacity.
Udoh said due to production capacity capped, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) suffered from a yearly loss of N54.2tn ($177.70 billion).
He noted that ALSCON contributes N108.40 billion ($355.388million) or 0.2 per cent, Ajaokuta Integrated Steel plant, the Delta steel plant currently underutilised and the three Inland Rolling Mills, comprising the Katsina Steel Rolling Company Limited, Oshogbo and Jos Steel Rolling Mills correspond to N53.93 trillion ($176.832 billion), while the National Iron Ore Mining Company Ltd., the National Iron ore Mining Company (NIMCO), Itakpe suffered N155.64 billion ($ 510.283 million) loss.
“The three inland rolling mills are in comatose. Delta only buys condemned iron and melt. So, if ALSCON is also down completely, there is no hope for the metal industry in Nigeria as ALSCON and the NIMCO limited are the backbone of the metal industry in Nigeria,” Udoh said.
On the proposed plans by the Federal Government to commercialise ALSCON for power plants, he said, “our attention has been drawn to the deal brokered by the Federal Government of Nigeria through Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) on the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) 540 MW Power Plant deal with details still blurred, following the sack of the erstwhile owner, DHL/UC Rusal through the Supreme Court judgments of 2012 and the ongoing litigation at the Appeal court, still on ALSCON ownership and the ruling of the December 2019.”
He explained that ALSCON does not have enough power to commercialise because “there is no existing capacity. ALSCON has six turbines out of which four turbines suppose to be on without going off with a 320 megawatt (MW) capacity and the plant requires 319MW. So, if you minus that what is remaining is just 0.54 MW which is not significant. The other two are just on standby. So, if it is these two on standby that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is relying on, it means there is no power for sale.
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