By: Babagana Bukar Wakil and Rakiya Garba Karaye
The ownership tussles between the Kogi State government and Dangote Group over Obajana Cement Company voluminously taking another unusual dimension.
Dangote Group said it acquired the plant from the state government in 2002 through Dangote Industries Limited. It stressed that the factory and machinery were conceived, designed, procured, built, and paid for solely by DIL, well after it acquired the shares in Obajana Cement Company, noting that the state government has no equity interest in the cement making firm.
This was contains in a statement titled Obajana Cement plant “separating fact from fiction” and made available to Dandal Radio International by the group Head of Branding and Communication Anthony Chiejina.
Anthony Chiejina asserted that the Kogi State government has no equity interest in Obajana Cement, noting that as a responsible corporate organisation, it has been paying relevant state taxes, levies and charges to the Kogi State government since 2007 when production commenced in the acquired cement plant.
Dandal Kura Radio International report that the Kogi state government last week shut the Obajana palnt. Questioning the Dangote Cement’s ownership of the factory. The government also raised issues of tax payment.
In a statement, conglomerate explained that it was responding to the issue to address the concerns and apprehensions of the stakeholders of Dangote Cement Plc (DCP), especially the over 22,000 people it employs directly and more indirectly, as well as thousands of contractors, wholesalers, users of products, financiers and shareholders.
At a time of significant economic challenges that we face as a nation.
According to the statement, “The Obajana Cement Plant is one of the most critical components of economic activity in the nation, being one of the highest taxpayers, and vehicle for one of the largest companies invested in by thousands of Nigerian and foreign investors.
The company clarified that the land on which Obajana Cement Plant is built was solely acquired by Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) in 2003.
The land on which the Obajana Cement Plant was built acquired solely by Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) in 2003, well after it had acquired the shares in Obajana Cement Company in 2002, following the legally binding agreement it entered into with KSG to invest in Kogi State.
DIL was issued three Certificates of Occupancy in its name after payment of necessary fees and
Appealing for overall peace and calm, the statement noted, “We implore all our stakeholders, namely shareholders, customers, suppliers, employees, and the entire community of Obajana and Kogi State at large, to remain calm while we follow the legitimate and lawful process to resolve this matter.
DIL also said it will keep stakeholders duly updated whilst they remain confident that the statutory and contractual rights of DIL shall be upheld by these legal processes which they have initiated.