THE Sole Administrator/Chief Executive of the National Iron Ore Mining Company Limited, Itakpe (NIOMCO), Mr. Bernard Ifechi Nnagha, on Thursday, said the management will soon engage the services of National Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) and local vigilance group to curb the incessant vandalism of Federal Government $1 billion NIOMCO facilities.
This step, according to him, will complement the already established Police Post in the area to protect a challenging vast expanse of over 8, 000 hectares of land.
He made this known in his office in Atakpe, Kogi State, while playing host to the ministerial team and media executives covering the mines and steel sector led by the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the minister, Mr. Seun Odewale, who were in the state for a three-day media workshop.
It will be recalled that NIOMCO which was abandoned over eight years ago was a Federal Government parastatal under the supervision of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
Mr. Nnagha stressed that with the continued support of the minister, Dr Kayode Fayemi, the management was currently doing everything to secure and maintain the over $1 billion Federal Government Nigeria Investments at NIOMCO in spite of a challenging vast expanse of over 8, 000 hectares of land, remote location, bushy environment, as well as absence of perimeter fencing and funds constraints.
He said the agency has the corporate objectives to explore, exploit, process and market the local iron ores reserve for the Nigerian Steel Industry, especially the 100% Ajaokuta Steel Company Iron Ore Concentrate requirements and 40% of the Delta Steel Company’s requirement.
The sole administrator added that the government had acquired over 8, 000 hectares of land for the use of the company which included 3,600 mining township with houses and roads partly completed; 2,374,341 hectares Osara Dam fully completed; 1,697,217 hectares mine ancillary facilities partly completed; 52*100 meters Ore Rail line at advanced stage of completion and 160 hectares Ajabanoko hill with mine access roads which was partly completed.
Mr. Nnagha then listed the company’s modest achievement under the present administration to include improved security operations, restoration and regular power supply after 21 months of power outage, meterisation / seperation of industrial/residential electrical consumption, relocation to the present site offices after eight years abandonment, as well as maintenance of peace and harmony among staff with the catchment communities among others.
Corroborating the sole administrator, the General Manager, Utility of the agency, Engineer Musa Sodiq Oburebu, said the NIOMO was considering of replacing copper cable with aluminum cable with a view to find a permanent solution to the incessant vandalism of the facilities by the hoodlums.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Nigerian Union of Mines Workers (NUMW), Mr. Ogbokor Newlife said on the issue of privatization, NIOMCO was a company that needed rehabilitation, reactivation, upgrading and completion for operation on a sustainable basis.