By Salisu Sani-Idris
Vice President, Kashim Shettima, has restated the determination of the President Bola Tinubu’s administration to revive the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) through engagement with key stakeholders in the industry.
Mr Olusola Abiola, Director, Information,
Office of the Vice President, in a statement, said Shettima gave this indication at a meeting with the management of Russian Aluminium Company (UC RUSAL) and other stakeholders in the project, on the sideline of the ongoing Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting with the stakeholders was in furtherance of the efforts by the Federal Government to reactivate production lines at ALSCON by re-engaging with UC RUSAL and other partners.
Speaking after a presentation by the UC RUSAL management, Shettima said Nigeria stands to benefit economically if the plant is reactivated.
“These are in the areas of energy transition, job creation, both directly and indirectly, and its impact in the development of small businesses is also huge.
“The sooner we get this plant back to production, the better for everyone. We need to walk the talk; the Nigerian people deserve better,” he said.
The Vice President urged all the stakeholders to expedite work on the plan of action to restart production at the company.
In attendance at the meeting were Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia, Amb. Shehu Abdullahi; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, Amb. Yusuf Tuga, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr Gabriel Aduda.
Others were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mrs Mary Ogbe, and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr Gbenga Komolafe, among others.
Earlier, Shettima joined other African leaders at the Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum, declared open by Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Putin noted in his opening remarks that the potential for trade and economic cooperation between Russia and African countries is much higher than the trade turnover of US$ 18 billion seen in 2022.
He restated his country’s commitment to food security in Africa and beyond, stressing that “Russia will continue to work towards shaping a more equitable global food distribution system.”
He added that Russia would increase its support for Africa which accounts for 65 per cent of the world’s arable land and around 10 per cent of domestic renewable freshwater sources.
President Putin noted that it was a huge potential for the further development of agriculture.
Vice President Shettima is also attending a State banquet hosted by President Putin for the visiting heads of delegation at the St. Petersburg’s ExpoForum. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vincent Obi