ON Friday, June 9, 2023, Anambra State Governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, inaugurated a firm, Milton Steel manufacturing company, in the state.
At the occasion, Soludo said the company was the first steel production firm in the entire South-East region.
Reports by The ICIR show that the region, currently battling insecurity, is one of Nigeria’s economic hubs. Among other reports it has done on insecurity in the South-East, the media organisation, in a two-part investigation, in January 2023, exposed how the region pays a heavy price for insecurity.
Speaking on the unveiling of Milton Steel Manufacturing Company, Soludo said his administration’s objective was to transition from a primarily informal commercial sector to an industrialised one, a technology hub, and a spot for leisure and entertainment.
His words, “As a government, we stand ready to provide every assistance. We have signed an agreement with EEDC (Enugu Electricity Distribution Company) to provide the state with 24-hour electricity. We will put in necessary infrastructure to make this happen now that power is on the concurrent list.
“My primary responsibility as a governor is to serve as the chief marketing officer for everything produced in Anambra. The best way to create jobs is to buy items made in the state. When you buy products made in the diaspora, you are creating jobs in other countries.
“I am here to celebrate three things: the company, industry, and the homeland consciousness of the founder. This is another reminder to Ndi Anambra in diaspora and, indeed the world, that Anambra is ready for business.”
Meanwhile, The FactCheckHub has debunked his claim that the company he inaugurated was the first steel producer in South-Eastern Nigeria.
CLAIM: Soludo says Milton Steel Manufacturing is the first steel production company in South-Eastern Nigeria.
He published the claim on his Facebook Page, which has over 248,000 followers.
Many of his followers lauded his action and speech.
Findings show that other steel production firms operated in the South-East, including Anambra State, before the inauguration of Milton Steel.
One of the firms is Emeife Industries Ltd (EIL). This firm is based in Onitsha, one of Anambra’s major cities.
Speaking with The FactCheckHub on Saturday, June 10, the EIL’s business development manager, Okafor Nkemdirim, said the firm had been operating since 2006, distributing its products across Nigeria.
Similarly, Izundu Wire and Steel Industry still operates partially in Anambra State, where it is located, according to its chairman, Nwakibia Inno Izundu.
In a telephone conversation on Saturday, June 10, Izundu disagreed with Soludo’s claim. He noted that expatriates make business difficult for them, claiming that the government was not helping local industries.
“The Chinese people have taken everything from us. Our government doesn’t want to help us. They like to help foreigners,” he added.
He said things were difficult for the local firms, and they work at a slow pace.
Another company contacted by The FactCheckHub in the state is Danchris Steel Rods Company. An official who did not give his name at the firm said the firm existed but is no longer working.
According to the company’s profile on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website, it was registered on April 29, 2019.
Other web platforms keeping companies’ records in Nigeria showed the firm has RC number 2875888 as its registration number with the CAC.
Soludo’s claim that Milton Steel Manufacturing is the first steel facility in South-Eastern Nigeria is FALSE; findings indicated that steel production companies operated in the region before the launch of Milton Steel.