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Obajana: Kogi government maintains stance

by Business News Report

The Kogi Government says it maintains its stance on the ownership of Obajana Cement Company. “As a government, we maintain that Obajana Cement Company was solely founded in 1992 and owned by the state,” it stated in a statement issued on Thursday in Lokoja. According to the statement, the state government holds 100 per cent of its shareholding in trust for its people. The statement said that this had been the position “long before Dangote Industries Ltd., ventured into the state and longer still, before Dangote Cement Plant came into existence. “Dangote Industries Ltd.’s insistence on 100 per cent ownership of Obajana Cement Company is an effort at making Kogi’s demand appear unreasonable.

“This administration notes that successive administrations had always invited Dangote Industries Ltd., and Dangote Cement Plc.” to prove facts on this development. But unfortunately each time, Dangote Industries Ltd. and Dangote Cement Plc. have failed to do so. The statement said “the Kogi Government revealed to the world that the then administration took a loan of at least 15 million Deutsche Marks to conduct feasibility assessments which confirmed the existence of those vast limestone deposits that Dangote Industries Ltd. found so enticing years later. “Dangote Industries Ltd. then started posting profits from the operations of the Obajana plant, the Kogi government was still labouring to pay off the said loan and interests accruing thereon.

Nonetheless, the state government called on Nigerians and all persons of goodwill everywhere to ruminate on the issues raised and draw conclusions”. But Dangote Industries Ltd. had earlier said in a statement on Wednesday that it had acquired Obajana Cement factory from the state government a hundred per cent. It said that the land on which the Obajana Cement Plant is built was acquired solely by Dangote Industries Ltd. in 2003, well after it had acquired the shares in Obajana Cement Company in 2002, following a legally binding agreement.“Dangote Industries Ltd. was issued three certificates of occupancy in its name after payment of necessary fees and compensation to landowners. “The plant and machinery were conceived, designed, procured, built and paid for solely by Dangote Industries Ltd., again, well after it acquired the shares in Obajana Cement Company,” the statement said.

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