Immediately reopen Obajana cement factory, Buhari-led NSC tells Kogi government

The National Security Council ordered the immediate reopening of the Obajana Cement Plant in Kogi State, an official revealed. Another official, however, said the two parties involved in the dispute over the cement plant had reached an agreement, hence the directive.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Kogi State government ordered the plant closed after accusing the owner, Dangote Cement, of violating the agreements. The two sides have since been at odds over the plant which was privatized by the Kogi government more than a decade ago.

Members of the NSC, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, include the vice president, the national security adviser, the inspector general of police and some ministers, such as those of interior and defence.

Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola told reporters after Friday’s NSC meeting that the council had ordered the factory to reopen and urged aggrieved parties to take legal action.

“Council took note of the development in Kogi and ordered the reopening of the cement factory which is closed, advised that all issues relating to this industry or factory be resolved legally,” Mr. Argbesola said.

“No one should take justice into their own hands, whether as a government or as an individual. We are committed to securing and providing jobs for Nigerians. So anything that in any way will hinder this should be discouraged. So, in this regard, the cement industry in Obajana must be reopened and all disputed issues must be resolved legally.

However, in his remarks, Police Minister Maigari Dingyadi said the directive was given based on an agreement between the Kogi government and Dangote Cement.

“On the issue of Kogi, maybe he forgot to mention that an agreement has been reached between the Kogi State Government and Dangote Cement in Kogi on the need to reopen the factory and ensure maintaining peace in the state,” Dingyadi said. told reporters after the NSC meeting.

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“The government is committed to providing jobs for citizens, rather than closing factories which will make people unemployed. These are some of the issues that we have come to and we hope that the parties involved will respect this agreement and accept the MoU signed by the parties involved.

Earlier this month, the Kogi State Legislative Assembly ordered the closure of the cement plant, saying the facility, which was previously owned by the state government, had not been properly acquired by Dangote. Cement.

“It was found that no valid acquisition took place, as Dangote could not prove what was paid in consideration for the acquisition.

“The House of Assembly therefore ordered the closure of the pending business when they are able to present him with credible evidence of a worthwhile acquisition,” Kingsley Banwo, the state’s Information Commissioner, told reporters on October 3.

In its first public statement after the shutdown, Dangote Cement claims many of its employees were injured in a raid on the factory by security officers acting on behalf of the state government.

He revealed in a later document that the government does not hold any stake in Obajana Cement Company, further claiming that the company has regularly paid taxes, charges and levies to the government since its inception in 2007.

He chose to seek federal government mediation in the dispute rather than go down the arbitration route, he said.

Dangote Cement, the largest cement producer in sub-Saharan Africa, is Nigeria’s second most capitalized company with a nameplate capacity of 51.6 million tonnes per annum and footprints in ten countries.

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