Obajana Cement Plants: Kogi Gov, Dangote At Loggerhead, Yet To Resolve Ownership

The controversy over the ownership of Obajana Cement Plants between the Kogi State Government and Dangote Group is yet to to be resolved as stated by the state government on Friday.The plant, which is located in Obajana, Kogi State, has been the source of contention as both parties claim to be the legal owners.

Following meetings and interventions from stakeholders, the Kogi State Government has put measures in place to sue Dangote Group and reclaim ownership of the plant.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the state Commissioner of Information, Kingsley Fanwo.

According to Fanwo, the battle for ownership of the plant is still ongoingand that the government was ready to “battle it to the end”.

Fanwo noted in the statement that the decision was as a result of late night consultations and meeting on Thursday between key government officials led by Governor Yahaya Bello and stakeholders representing the different ethnic groups in the state.

Fanwo said at the meeting, which ran into the early hours of Friday, “All stakeholders resolved to head to court in the interest of the people and generations to come.”

He also noted that the governor made it clear that there was “no going back on the state’s resolve to reclaim its asset”.

This was as he sued for calm in the interest of peace.

“This struggle is not about Governor Yahaya Bello or his administration. It is about the people of Kogi State. In the last 72 hours, well meaning Nigerians, leaders and government officials have waded in and have pleaded with the governor to consider reopening of the plant while discussions are ongoing.

“The expectations of the over four million Kogites are clear and high and we want to assure them that the Governor and the Government of Kogi State will not compromise the interest of the people of the state to reclaim their rights in the cement company.

“There were a series of high-powered meetings to resolve the impasse, including meetings having the Governor and Alhaji Aliko Dangote in attendance.

“Discussions were held and statements of interest were established, but there was no agreement yet as some desperate parties are trying to promote in the media to mislead the public.

“We shall be non-violent in our approach as we are sure of green pathways to success for the people in this battle for the economic future of our dear state.

“However, we maintain that the collective assets of the people of Kogi State must be protected and reclaimed in this instance. And that is the process the government has started. We will fight this battle to the end until we get justice from the courts. No committee can resolve this dispute,” the statement read.

Reopening of Obajana Cement Plant

Meanwhile the federal government has said an agreement has been reached between the Kogi State government and Dangote Group to reopen the Obajana Cement Plant.

Minister of police affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the National Security Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday.

According to him, an agreement has been reached to ensure the re-opening of the plant to give room for peace in the state.

“Government is committed to the provision of employment to its citizens rather than closing factories that will make people unemployed and we do hope that the parties involved will respect this agreement and come to terms with the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties involved,” he said.

The minister said the agreement was reached under the supervision of  the chief of staff to the president, Pro. Ibrahim Gambari.

On his part, minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said council ordered the reopening of the cement plant.

The council noted the development in Kogi and has ordered the reopening of the cement factory and advised that all issues relating to that industry or factory should be resolved legally, nobody must take law into their hands, either as a government or an individual.

“We are committed to guaranteeing and providing employment for Nigerians, so whatever will, in any way, hinder that must be discouraged,” he said.

Ada Peter
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