Alhaji Aliko Dangote's Obajana Cement Plant, in Kogi State

Face-off as Kogi State seals Dangote’s Obajana Cement factory

*The Kogi State Government has shut the Dangote Cement Plc, located in Obajana area of the state, following alleged unresolved issues between the authorities and the multinational business entity

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following recent altercations between the authorities and the company, the Kogi State Government has shut the  Obajana Cement Factory, now known as Dangote Cement Plc, located in the state, Independent report said.

The cement factory is generally known to be owned by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Kano-born President of Dangote Group and Richest Man in Africa.

It was gathered the Kogi State Government hitherto, among other issues, had demanded 10 percent in the business activities of the company in Kogi State, the demand to which the company has reportedly not acceded over time.

A staff of the company at Obajana, in Kogi State, who did not want his name mentioned, Wednesday, October 5, 2022, also confirmed the shut down of the cement plant to this publication.

He, however, disclosed that the state authorities and the Management of the Dangote Cement Plc were making efforts at resolving the problem.

ConsumerConnect phone calls to Dangote Group Headquaters, in Lagos, for comments on the development in Kogi State were also not answered as of the time of filing this report.

This latest development between the state and Dangote Cement indicates that running battle between Kogi State House of Assembly and Dangote Cement company seems to be getting hotter as the House of Assembly on behalf of Kogi State Government has asked for the 10 percent shares from the investment.

It was learnt that the state lawmakers insisted the 10 percent shares being demanded from the representatives of Dangote Cement belong to the state government.

The legislators also alleged that all available documents showed that the company started as “Obajana Cement Company”, and asked at what point did it turn into “Dangote Cement Company” without any considerations.

Besides, Dangote Cement is reportedly facing allegations of sharp practice from Kogi State Government, Kogi State Assembly as well as Akwa Ibom State, in South -South Nigeria.

It is recalled that the Kogi State House of Assembly recently, ordered stoppage to the business activities of the company in two Local Governments Areas in the State while investigations continue.

House of Assembly’s earlier resolutions

In order to press home its claim, the State House of Assembly had ordered the Management of Dangote Cement to provide all necessary documents in connection with the transfer of Obajana Cement Company, owned by Kogi State Government to Dangote Cement Company.

The House also directed that the documents signed at the establishment of the company and relevant receipts of dues it claimed to have paid to Kogi State Government Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) available at the next adjourned sitting date.

Rt. Hon. Matthew Kolawole, Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, reportedly gave the order after interim reports of the investigative hearing on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) submitted by the Ad hoc Committee, led by Hon. Isah Tenimu Umar, Member Representing Lokoja I Constituency and deliberated upon at the plenary recently.

Kolawole said this has become important in view of the claims and counterclaims between the Chairman of the Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Service and representatives of Dangote Cement.

It was learnt that  Salisu Enehe, Acting Chairman of KGIRS, had earlier accused Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana, of forging its tax receipt during the investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly.

According to him, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid were totally incorrect.

The Speaker, however, urged the company to check its record.

Despite the billions of Naira that cement company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due to the state and Lokoja Local Government Area, Kolawole reportedly stated.

Allegations of environmental degradation, non-compensation and tax issue

In related development, in regard to the purported unrestrained environmental degradation in Ankpa and Olamaboro Local Government Areas (LGAs), the Kogi State House of Assembly recently directed the Commissioner of Police and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to stop operations of Dangote Plc in the affected LGAs of the state.

The House gave the order during a public hearing on activities of Dangote Group in the state, especially on the alleged massive exploitation, environmental degradation, and non-compensation to the affected owners of the land and without revenue accruing to the Kogi State Government.

The Speaker charged the NSCDC Commandant to ensure immediate implementation pending when the Ad hoc Committee on revenue clarifies some grey areas.

Kolawole, who lamented the environmental degradation caused by mining activities on Kogi by the Dangote group and its subsidiaries, accused the multinational business entity of making billions in the state, but yet fails to give back to it, report said.

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