Mr. Prasanta Mishra, CEO, Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Ovwian-Aladja.
By Justice Iyasere
WARRI/Nigeria: Chief Executive Officer of Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Ovwian-Aladja, Mr. Prasanta Mishra has declared that the company was returning the old Delta Steel Company to her former reign of profitability assuring that with production now on course at the rolling mill of the plant, attention has shifted to other sections to ensure the company become fully operational for full benefits to accrue to the people.
He stated this in reactions to news reports in a section of the media credited to one Ms Natasha Hadiza Akpoti, a social crusader and rights advocate who stated that the current investors in the plant lack the capacity to revamp the company.
Mr. Mishra dismissed the diatribe as handwork of detractors who are bent on forcing the hands of the federal government to adopt their misrepresentations of facts which he said were maliciously designed to frustrate the current efforts at restoring the lost glory of the old DSC.
The CEO explained that production has been on-going since the commissioning of the rolling mill which was carried out by no less a personality than the Governor of Delta State and officials of the federal government, adding that the malicious campaigns were designed to spread disaffection among the host communities, give them false hopes of a better deal outside what they presently have and compel the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON to cancel the sales agreement with PSML so that corporate enemies could feast on the remains of the plant like hawks without any genuine intention to get the company off ground.
‘’We are here for serious business and any visitor with genuine intention and open mind could testify to our giant strides in galvanizing the company towards profitable productive ends. Some of our technical partners are the original builders of the company who have been coming to offer invaluable technical advice and assistance on how best to revamp the plant. The rot in the company is deep and not what can be cleared in a hurry. We are doing thorough turn-around maintenance that may take some times so that when we are fully operational, the host communities will enjoy the best in terms of job creations, corporate social responsibilities, and all manners of benefits that will accrue to them. The campaign of hate and misrepresentations of facts by Ms Natasha Hadiza Akpoti is not in the best interest of the company’’, he said.
The company Chief Executive admitted that while the company has not attained her full glory and capacity in terms of out-put, which in turn affects its economic fortune and benefits to the host community, ‘’that is not enough to campaign for a rescind of the sales agreement with AMCON as being done by Ms Akpoti and her collaborators because that will take the plant to square one. We have left ground zero and it can only get better. We have employed a number of Udu indigenes, Deltans and more will soon been employed to meet our ever increasing demand for fresh hands. We have timelines for resuscitation of each sector of the plant and we are working hard to deliver. The least we expect now are distractions from malevolent competitors who may have hired experts in blackmail and invidious corporate politics to spread falsehood about our efforts and poison the minds of unsuspecting members of the public about the gains of our investment’’, the CEO added.
He commended Ms Natasha Akpoti for her courage and strong advocacy for a virile steel industry in Nigeria, admitting that her position was right with regards to the place of steel development for the technological take off of the country. The CEO however faulted her claims with regards to developments at the plant stressing that the company would be glad to receive her and her team on a fact-finding visit to the plant for first hand information before making such weighty allegations, stressing that progress at the plant could be attested to by officials of the federal Minister of Steel Development, the media, top government officials in Delta state, banks and other critical stakeholders in the environment in which the company operates.
He appealed to members of the public, the business community, the political class and the host community to ignore the antics of detractors who, he said, may have voted a fortune to sustain the offensive campaigns against PSML for selfish reasons, assuring that Premium Steel was taking the company to greater heights in the best interest of all stakeholders.