The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, has restated the determination of the Bola Tinubu administration to revive the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, particularly by engaging with key stakeholders in the industry.
Mr Shettima stated this on Thursday 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, Russi
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 in the resuscitation of the plant.
Speaking after a presentation by the UC RUSAL management, Vice President Shettima noted the enormous benefits for the economy in many aspects, such as in the area of energy transition and job creation both directly and indirectly, and its impact on 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.
Other officials at the meeting were Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia, Shehu Abdullahi; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tugar; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Gabriel Aduda; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mary Ogbe; and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, among others.
Earlier, Mr Shettima joined other African leaders at the Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum declared open by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mr 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 USD 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 will 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, noting that “its huge potential for the further development of agriculture.”
Mr Shettima is also attending a State banquet hosted by Mr Putin for the visiting heads of delegation at St. Petersburg’s ExpoForum.
Office of the Vice President
27th July 2023
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