The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has paid the benefits and entitlements of 603 former workers of Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom State.
The payment of the workers followed the successful verification, documentation and validation of the credentials of the former workers of troubled smalter.
The spokesperson of ALSCON, Gbenga Ajayi, said in Abuja on Wednesday that with the payment, about 85 percent of the workers’ entitlements were still left.
Mr Ajayi said the former workers were paid by PTAD in December 2020.
He said payments were made in 13 batches to the beneficiaries, while payment to the next-of-kin of some of the deceased ex-workers would also be made soon.
Normal operations at ALSCON have stopped for several years since the process to privatize the multi-billion dollar plant halted following a protracted legal battle over the ownership of the plant.
Following the successful bidding process in 2004, which saw the Nigerian-American Consortium, BFIGroup Corporation, emerging as the preferred bidder over the Russian Aluminium, UC RUSAL, the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) canceled the bid in controversial circumstances.
Several legal processes by BFIG resulted in a unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court in July 6, 2012 directing the BPE to rescind its decision and hand over the plant to BFIGroup.
However, the privatization agency’s refusal to obey the apex court directive has been at the heart of the crisis, which has stalled operations at the plants for several years.