CEMENT FACTORY CLOSURE: WE GAVE DANGOTE MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO RESPOND TO PETITIONS AGAINST ITS OPERATIONS BUT THEY REFUSED, UNTIL THE PETITIONERS WENT TO THE STATE ASSEMBLY – YAHAYA BELLO
The Governor of Kogi State Yahaya Bello has disclosed that reports before him indicate that the Dangote Cement Factory does not belong to the billionaire, Aliko Dangote
Speaking at a media briefing, the Governor revealed that in the past five years he has received many petitions against the operations of the Dangote Cement factory, its ownership as well as the denial of the State its dues.
All efforts to sit down with the proprietor of Dangote Conglomerate failed, according to Yahaya Bello because Dangote failed to show up. Despite this, he set up committees to look into the matter and they made efforts to get those who claimed to be very big in the company to come and defend themselves which also failed. Because of these, the petitioners went to the State Assembly to seek redress when they found that he was delaying. He also stressed the fact that every Governor who was there before him faced the same challenges with Dangote to the extent that the people now allege that maybe they had soiled their hands.
From the Technical reports before him, he claimed that the Obajana Cement now known as Dangote Cement Factory belongs to Kogi State.
Speaking further, the Governor stated that he has already invited Aliko Dangote to come for discussions. He however warned that ‘In case of the Billionaire’s refusal to come down, I will have no option than to execute every recommendation in this report’.
Again he warned the law enforcement agents, over their delay in executing orders given by law courts and legally constituted agencies. Yahaya Bello said that when they delay in executing such legally issued orders, they are calling for anarchy and self defence. He said that this was what led to agitations and unrests in the Niger Delta, South East and other places.
According to him, the State Government is not interested in shutting down Obajana Cement Factory, which in his words, is now purported to be Dangote Cement company. ‘ ‘If there is anything, we want more of such investments. We cannot have such investments and every month, we will be waiting for envelope from Federation account.’
The State according to him has been lucky to have the late Abubakar Audu as its Governor who based on his foresight established the Obajana Cement Factory, did all the groundwork, acquired mining licence, the Certificate of Occupancy and ensured that the business was one hundred percent owned by the State and ran it as such before the coming of Dangote.
‘We cannot have such an organisation one hundred percent, lose it one hundred percent and be at the mercy of Dangote. It is an aberration’, he said. Governor Yahaya Bello promised to secure any investor who is coming with clean hands and have interests of the State at heart.