Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Community Shuts Down Smelter Plant For Refusing Local Hires

The UC Rusal-Alscon aluminium smelter plant in Ikot Abasi felt the wrath of the community over its refusal to hire local workers. On Tuesday, residents of the local community took a staff bus by force that was conveying employees and used the vehicle to block an access road to the factory.
According to SaharaReporter sources, the takeover forced employees and visitors to abort their trip and return home.
A petition by the community to the Managing Director of the company obtained by Sahara Reporters,  urged the firm to ensure that their sons would be considered for good jobs at the plant.
 The Petition was signed by Messrs Aniefiok James, Ekwere Genesis, Linus Usen and Emmanuel Jumbo on Behalf of Akwa Ibom Concerned Citizens in ALSCON.

Members of the local community complained that the company had marginalized indigenes of the state  working in the plant while arguing that their operational area quote was not respected by the firm.  (?)
However an official of the firm who pleaded for anonymity dismissed the allegations of marginalisation of indigenes from Akwa Ibom in the plant.
Out of six Nigerian directors in UC RUSAL ALSCON , four are from Akwa Ibom, this development shows that it is the non indigenes that are really marginalized,” said the official. “It therefore shows that the management of the company is sensitive, the community protesters are being sentimental but when you look at the facts, the truth becomes evident.”
Currently Aluminium Smelting is one of several companies under the spotlight over accusations of fraud during a privatization drive. Other companies in the spotlight are Delta Steel Complex, DSC, Alaja and the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, Itakpe. The inquest into questionable sell-offs by the Bureau of Public Enterprise is being carried out by an Ad Hoc Committee set up in the Senate.
 ALSCON in Akwa Ibom state was built at a cost of $3.2 billion but was sold to a Russian company for $130 million.

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