The Kogi State Government has stated that it will be willing to negotiate once Dangote Group admits that the Obajana cement facility does not belong to it.
Governor Yahaya Bello claimed this on Thursday while presenting paperwork to support the state’s ownership claim to the plant.
The documents are from the Specialised Technical Committee on the Legality of the Alleged Acquisition of Obajana Cement Company Plc by Dangote Cement Company Limited’s report.
The comprehensive report, which was submitted to Governor Yahaya Bello last month, was presented to the public by Dr. (Mrs) Folashade Ayoade, Secretary to the State Government.
She claims that the alleged transfer of Obajana to Dangote Industries Limited was “invalid, null and void.”
According to Ayoade’s report, three certificates of occupancy for Obajana Cement Company Plc, which was entirely controlled by the Kogi State Government at the time, were utilized to secure an N63 billion loan from Dangote.
She stated that the committee has recommended that Kogi State take efforts to recover the Obajana Cement Company from the Dangote Group based on its findings.
The committee, chaired by the State Secretary, also suggested that the “Kogi State Government take steps to reclaim any accrued dividends from profits gained over the years, including accrued interest on the same.”
“Kogi State Government should take steps to cancel the existing seven Certificates of Occupancy in the name of Dangote Cement Company.”
“Agreement between Kogi State Government of Nigeria and Dangote Industries Limited, dated 30th July 2002 and supplemental agreement dated 14th February 2003, as contained in Exhibit 71 of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry Report, purporting the transfer of Obajana Cement Company Plc to Dangote Industries Limited, are all invalid, null and void.
“There is no evidence of consideration paid by Dangote Industries Limited to Kogi State Government from the alleged transfer of Obajana Cement Company Plc and no dividend was paid to the state from the profits realised from the inception of Dangote Cement Company Plc to date.”
The Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, stated that Dangote’s acquisition of the Obajana Cement Company occurred without the approval of the House of Assembly, rendering the transaction null and illegal.
“It is obvious that you cannot sell any sort of state government property without the resolution of the Kogi State House of Assembly.”
“The former administration transferred the share capital to Dangote from Obajana without any law backing it up by the state House of Assembly,” Kolawole said.
Governor Yahaya Bello stated in his remarks that the decision to close the plant was made in response to multiple petitions from members of the local community who felt marginalized by the factory.
The governor, on the other hand, stated that the state was willing to talk if Dangote Company Plc was.
“We received multiple petitions from the general public on this specific subject.” All attempts to meet with the Dangote Conglomerate’s owners have failed in the last five to six years.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, on the other hand, denounced the Kogi State Government officials’ assault of the Dangote facility.
MAN, in response to Wednesday’s clash between the state’s security forces and workers at the Dangote Cement facility, denounced the invasion as illegal and a violation of one of Nigeria’s most important corporate enterprises’ fundamental human rights.
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