Russian investors flee ALSCON

Author: john on 19-03-2014, 02:03, views: 2 365

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Expatriate management team of the Russian company, UC RUSAL, currently operating the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, were reported to have fled the multi-billion naira plant, leaving behind, an army of aggrieved indigenous workers who had earlier taken the company to an industrial court in Calabar over unpaid salary arrears.

This was confirmed to Nigerian Pilot during a telephone interview with the Chairman, Steel and Engineering Workers’ Union of Nigeria, ALSCON chapter, Comrade Sunny James.

James corroborated report from the Mboho community under the leadership of Obong Amete Ntak, which alleged that the Russians are fleeing because of the possible consequences of their acts of stripping the assets of the company in a manner that smacks of fraud and deliberate attempt to destroy the plants.
 

Category: News

 

Government Should Introduce Policy That Protects Local Production

Author: john on 3-02-2014, 08:22, views: 3 297

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Lagos — Tower Aluminium will soon be celebrating 60 years of serving Nigerian population with pots and pans, long-span roofing and aluminium extruded profiles used for doors and windows frames.

 

In the last few years, Tower has found it difficult to compete with imported Chinese aluminium coils, which are used for production of long-span roofing and aluminium profiles or extrusions normally used for production of doors and windows frames.

 

In this interview, the Group Managing Director of Tower Aluminum, Chief (Dr.) Jinesh Chandra Dugad, who had in February 2013 cried out to the federal government over the challenges threatening continued production at the nation's aluminum giant, iterates that the local aluminium production sector might just go the sorry way of the local textiles and tyre manufacturing production sectors if the federal government doesn't quickly formulate and sincerely implement the vital policies to save it.

 

Last year, you addressed a press conference lamenting the challenges facing the aluminum sector, especially the Tower Aluminum Company that is the only surviving aluminum coils manufacturing company in the country. One year after, has there been any policy change to ameliorate the problem?

 

While some serious work has been put in place by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, work which has recognised the need to protect the aluminium sector, there has been no firm action so far to protect the producers of aluminium coils and aluminium profiles against unfair competition mainly from China. Since last February when we met, there has not been any policy change. As we understood, the Common Economic Tariff (CET) of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) which was to expire in December 2013 was being reviewed and there could be revision of duty. It is already 2014 and the ECOWAS-CET duty structure has now been extended and will be revised in January 2015. 

 

Category: News

 

No Asset Stripping in ALSCON - BPE Boss

Author: john on 16-01-2014, 08:17, views: 1 891

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Uyo — The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, (BPE), Mr Benjamin Dikki, recently visited the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), to ascertain claims of asset stripping at the plant. In this interview with our correspondent in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, after the visit, Dikki explains issues surrounding the claims. Excerpts.

 

What informed your visit to ALSCON?

 

We are here because we have heard a lot of information or misinformation that this plant was being vandalized and equipment removed. And so, it was a concern to us and we felt that we should not allow one of our key national assets to be vandalised and be made non-operational. That is why we embarked on this trip; to see with our eyes, and with few personnel also coming along with us to establish the veracity of these claims.

 

You have all gone round and have seen with your eyes, that all the equipment we have seen are actually being operationalised - they are all in functional mode. What are being moved out are scrapped and waste products that have accumulated in the factory over a long period of time and we have seen them. These are things that will not be useful to this factory and in fact they are environmental hazards and should actually be removed from the business premises as soon as it is feasible.

 

We will find out exactly where these rumours are coming from; whether people are trying to agitate for issues and are trying to use this as a medium of negotiation. We will sit down with the relevant stakeholders and find out exactly what the problem is and see if we can resolve it.

Category: News

 

Why I have committed 10 years of my life to the ALSCON ownership battle - Dr Jaja

Author: john on 22-12-2013, 08:14, views: 2 200

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Dr Reuben Jaja, is the Chief Executive Officer, BFI Group Corporation. On December 3, the corporation once again obtained judgment at the Supreme Court of Nigeria as the rightful owner of ALSCON, the aluminum manufacturing plant in Akwa Ibom State. In this interview, Jaja speaks on his dreams for the plant and how BFG intends to create over 2400 jobs there.

 

The Supreme Court has once again affirmed your ownership of the Aluminium Smelter plant in Akwa Ibom State. So how do you resolve the controversial Share Purchase Agreement with the Bureau of Public Enterprise?


We have a share purchase agreement that has been negotiated. We have executed it and we have given it to the BPE, which they have not signed. We are now going to court to compel them to sign. The BPE, on October 8 this year, gave us a 58-page document which stated the purchase price as $250 million. We accepted and returned it.
They acknowledged it, sent us letters and we discussed it. There are documents to that effect. As far as we are concerned, that share purchase agreement that they sent to us is the mutually agreed share purchase agreement and the court should compel them to execute this agreement.

 

What is the physical state of ALSCON now?


Between when we first got judgment and now, there has been absolute vandalisation of the plant. We have seen the host community of ALSCON intercepting truckloads of vandalised items and things stolen from the plant. We have had local engineers as well as the workers union there complaining bitterly about the vandalised accessories. We intercepted the transfer of ALSCON tanks to a neighbouring company and forced it back. They gave us reasons that made no sense. We see this as a conscious effort to strip the plant and sell all parts to whoever is ready to buy. The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly even passed a resolution begging the federal government to come and rescue the plant.


Even at the Supreme Court, the justices advised us to enforce retrieval fast, otherwise we would be taking over a complete carcass.

 

 

Category: News

 

Supreme Court chides BPE for refusing to comply with judgment on ALSCON‬

Author: john on 29-11-2013, 08:06, views: 2 185

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The BFIG wants an enforcement of a Supreme Court ruling on ALSCON.

 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday chided the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, for refusing to comply with its July 6, 2012 ruling ordering the revocation of the sale of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, Ikot Abasi to UC RUSAL, the Russian firm that took over the plant in controversial circumstances in 2006.‬

 

‪The Nigerian-American consortium, BFIGroup, was declared the winner of the bid for the plant by the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, in 2004, but was disqualified and the bid cancelled by BPE.‬

 

‪Following the controversial disqualification by BPE, BFIG went to court seeking the revocation of the decision to transfer the ownership of ALSCON to RUSAL and its reinstatement as the authentic bid winner.‬

 

‪After eight years of legal tussle, the Supreme Court, in a ruling on July 6, 2012, unanimously ordered specific performance mandating BPE to provide a mutually agreed share purchase agreement, SPA, for BFIG to pay the agreed 10 per cent of the accepted bid price of $410 million within 15 working days from the date of its execution in accordance with agreement of May 20, 2004. ‬

Category: News

 

ALSCON missing tank traced to Ibom power plant

Author: john on 23-10-2013, 16:53, views: 1 703

0 We loaned it to them—RUSAL

By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North

ABUJA—Accusations of asset stripping at the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria re-echoed, yesterday, following the discovery of a 50,000-litre oil tank belonging to the company in nearby Ibom Power Company, which is owned by Akwa Ibom State Government.

The report is coming barely a month after BFIG, the American firm that the court vested the ownership of the company with, cried out that the Russian firm, RUSAL, that was still laying claims to ownership after being sacked by the Supreme Court, was actively looting the assets of the firm, with a view to stifling the reopening of the plant by the real owners.

Although RUSAL laid off many of its workers and shut the plants early this year, on the grounds that it did not have steady gas supply, coupled with the uncertainty over the ownership, it had, nonetheless, continued to play with the assets of the firm.

BFIG returns to Supreme Court

BFIG has already returned to the Supreme Court pleading the apex court to compel the Bureau for Public Enterprise, BPE, on whose back RUSAL rode to the occupation of te premises of the firm, to comply with the order dismissing it from the plant.

Category: News

 

Concerns grow over ALSCON!

Author: john on 23-10-2013, 16:50, views: 1 844

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Concerns grow over ALSCON!Workers of the Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) and Ikot Abasi community youth groups have raised the alarm over alleged asset stripping in the company, which has been without a legal management since the court sacked the Russian firm, UC RUSAL, from running it.

Although UC RUSAL suspended production in the first quarter of the year, it has nevertheless continued to lay claim to the ownership of ALSCON, insisting that the Supreme Court ruling of 2012 does not stop it from manning the steel firm.

While production has been halted, RUSAL is allegedly engaged in systematic stripping of the assets in a bid to cripple the plant and frustrate the American firm, BFIG, which the court recognised as the bonafide buyers of the firm. RUSAL dismissed the allegation, saying it was merely ridding its territory of obsolete assets.

The workers, under the aegis of the Metal Products Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (MPSSAN), alleged that UC RUSAL had been dismantling and selling for cash stem rods and anodes, vital components of the plant used in the manufacture of steel ingots.

A spokesman of the workers association told reporters in Abuja that the Russian firm, which had failed in recent times to pay salaries to workers, was also cutting and melting the bussbar/risers used in transmitting electric current to the production pots for melting aluminium and selling them as ingots.

Category: News

 

Ikot Abasi Community Kicks Against Vandalisation Of ALSCON

Author: john on 25-09-2013, 14:12, views: 1 831

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The Ikot Abasi Community, host to Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) has added its voice to the alleged vandalism going on in the plant, calling on UC RUSAL to suspend cutting of anode stems, and the proposed melting of their aluminium components for sale as ingots, as well as the sale of the stem nipples to a contractor which has already been identified and is on standby.

 

The community under the aegis of Mboho Ikot Abasi also called on ALSCON Managing Director Stanislav Kruglyashov to comprehensively address the various areas of concern, including arranging a facility tour of the plant for members of the community to enable them see things for themselves.

 

In the letter written to the management of RUSAL and dated August 2, 2013, which was signed by Engr. Dr. Donatus Uko President General and Elder Genesis Udoh, Secretary General the community also urged RUSAL to discontinue the stripping of the plant including the re-bagging of alumina and coke for sale as well as the dismantling of Electrical Bussbars Assemblies for sale.

 

“You will recall that we expressed deep concern regarding what appears to be the systematic cannibalisation of plant facilities in place of the outright procurement and replacement of any faulty or failed parts. It is certainly clear that this practice is not in the best interest of the plant particularly in terms of its long term profile”.

 

Category: News

 

ALSCON - Accusations, Self-Adulation Confuse Reality At Privatised Aluminium Plant

Author: nick on 1-09-2013, 19:58, views: 1 956

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Uyo — Sundry allegations of improprieties against Rusal, embattled managers of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, Ikot Abasi, and self-praise responses from its management seem to be the only products at installed capacity at the company whose ownership and hitch-free operation remain dogged by protracted litigation.

 

Amid allegations of asset-stripping by some groups of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State on one hand, and strident denial by its managers on the other, the Supreme Court will next month, once again, decide who should own the troubled aluminium plant.

At war over ALSCON's ownership are its current managers, the Russian company, AC Rusal and BFIG, an American company, which a judgment of the Supreme Court in July last year favoured to have won the bid to buy ALSCON. On June 14, 2004, the BFIG Group won the bid to buy ALSCON from the Bureau of Public Enterprise, government's privatisation agency. But the bid was controversially cancelled and management of the plant handed over to Rusal. BFIG has since been in court to gain controlling ownership and management of ALSCON.

 

Enforcement of the apex court's judgment has undergone curious twists and turns, with Rusal digging in, the BPE finally cancelling in January this year BFIG's successful bid, and the BFIG crying conspiracy and once again relying on the Supreme Court to reclaim what it affirms is legitimately its property through its victorious bid process and the apex court's decision last year.

Category: News