Dangote Cement factory: Kogi state Government seeks negotiations
The Kogi State Government, north central Nigeria, says it is ready to enter into negotiations with Dangote Group regarding the ownership of Obajana Cement Plant.
Governor Yahaya Bello announced the decision of the state government to go into dialogue with the Dangot Group while presenting documents to back the state’s claims to the ownership of the plant.
The government had earlier set up a Specialised Technical Committee on the Evaluation of the Legality of the Alleged Acquisition of Obajana Cement Company Plc by Dangote Cement Company Limited.
The report which was submitted to the state Governor in September, was presented to the public by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. (Mrs) Folashade Ayoade.
According to the report, the state government insisted that, that Dangote Group cannot claim the ownership of the cement company in Obajana based on official reports and other documents at the disposal of the state government, stressing that previous efforts to reach an agreement between the two parties have proved abortive in the past six years.
“We set up a committee to look into this and invited the Dangote company to discuss with them and tell them the imminent dangers they are exposing the people to, but it all fell on deaf ears.
“We received several petitions from the general public over this particular subject matter. In the past five to six years, all efforts to sit with the proprietors of the Dangote Conglomerate failed.” Governor Bello lamented.
Ayoade said in the report that three certificates of occupancy for Obajana Cement Company Plc, which was solely owned by the Kogi State Government at the time, were used to obtain a loan of N63bn by Dangote.
She said the committee, in view of its findings, had recommended that Kogi State take steps to recover the Obajana Cement Company from the Dangote Group.
The committee, chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, also recommended that, “Kogi State Government should take steps to recover all accrued dividends from profits made over the years, including accrued interest on the same.
“Kogi State Government should take steps to cancel the existing seven Certificates of Occupancy in the name of Dangote Cement Company.”
“Agreement between Kogi State Government of Nigeria and Dangote Industries Limited, dated 30th July 2002 and supplemental agreement dated 14th February 2003, as contained in Exhibit 71 of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry Report, purporting the transfer of Obajana Cement Company Plc to Dangote Industries Limited, are all invalid, null and void,” the report said.
Earlier, the state government shit down the company following various unresolved discussions.
Dangote Group has however not made a public statement regarding the matter but the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has berated the state government for its actions, noting that the closure of the factory would bring aboit disruption in economic activities.