By Eseoghene Emuke
Host communities to the former Delta Steel Company now Premium Steel and Mines Limited in Ovwian/Aladja, Udu Local Government Area of Delta State have expressed delight over the commencement of steel production at the plant.
They claimed that local businesses in the host communities have been recording steady improvement as a result of the production activities and delivery of ship load of billets for production of rods and other steel products to the company.
In a joint statement issued on Sunday and signed by the President-Generals of Ovwian and Aladja Communities, Chief Matthew Odjeku and Elder Otto Ogbiruveta after an appreciation visit to CEO of Premium Steel, Mr Prasanta Mishra, also stated that since operations began at the company, several of their people have been employed.
It stated further that with the current state of things at PSML the federal government would be delighted to earn foreign exchange from the once moribund steel industry in the country.
Ovwian and Aladja Communities who are the two core host communities to the plant, however, passed vote of confidence on the leadership company in view of its corporate social responsibilities and positive impact on the local economy since they took over operation in the area.
According to the statement, “As we write, there is no week that finished steel products are not evacuated from the company premises for sale to construction companies and factories.
“The cheering news to construction companies across Nigeria is that with the current state of things at PSML, foreign exchanges can now be saved as the company has been fully revamped to produce the best of steel and allied products to meet the local demands and even for exports”.
They commended the CEO of Premium Steel, Mr Prasanta Mishra for providing stable leadership for management to turn around the fortune of the company within the short period they have been on board, adding that with continued support from the host communities, PSML will fully turn around the economic fortune of the locality for good.
They added that as host communities, they cannot just condemn always but can commend where improvement is noticed hence the press statement.
Commenting earlier on the progress made by the company under his watch, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Prasanta Mishra assured that Premium Steel was doing everything possible to attain maximum production record as other sectors in the plant are currently receiving serious attention.
“Most importantly, the presidency has given approval to the jetty in the company waterfront. Full shipload of billets are being offloaded and more will follow so that there won’t be any reason to stop production so that the company can meet the ever-increasing demands for steel products in the Nigerian market and later for exports to other countries.
“We want to assure the Nigerian people that Premium Steel is taking the plant to higher level and with shipment of billets now being delivered to the company, the company will continue to meet the demand of construction companies across Nigeria’’, he said.
He called on the larger Udu communities and the entire Urhobo nation and Delta state to continue to support the company so as to deliver on their core mandate of bringing accelerated development to the area.