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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Kogi Govt Moves To Reclaim Obajana Cement From Dangote As Ownership Tussle Deepens

The Kogi state government says it has commenced the process of recovering the cement plant in Obajana from Dangote Industries Limited.

On Wednesday, the cement plant was sealed due to an “ownership tussle” between the company and the state government.

The government’s resolution is contained in a report by the specialised technical committee on the evaluation of the legality of the alleged acquisition of Obajana Cement Company by Dangote Cement.

The report was presented to the public by Folashade Ayoade, secretary to the state government (SSG), on Thursday in Lokoja.

During the presentation, Ayoade alleged that the transfer of Obajana Cement Company to Dangote Industries Limited was “invalid, null and void”.

She disclosed that, in the report, three certificates of occupancy for Obajana Cement Company Plc, which was solely owned by the Kogi state government at the time, were used to obtain a loan of N63 billion by Dangote.

According to her, the committee, in view of its findings, has, therefore, recommended that Kogi state should take steps to recover Obajana Cement Company from Dangote Group.

The committee, chaired by the SSG, also recommended that: “Kogi state government should take steps to recover all accrued dividends from profits made over the years, including accrued interest on same.

“Kogi state government should take steps to cancel the existing seven certificates of occupancy in the name of Dangote Cement Company.

“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.

“By the assignment of the three certificates of occupancy, the title in Obajana Cement Company Plc, still vests in Kogi state government as the sole owner.

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“The three documents were used to obtain a loan of sixty-three billion naira only (63,000,000,000.00) to finance the construction of the cement plant in Obajana.”

On his part, Matthew Kolawole, speaker of the Kogi state house of assembly, said that the acquisition of the Obajana Cement Company by Dangote was without the resolution of the house of assembly which made the process null and void.

“It is clear that you cannot sell a state government property of any form without the resolution of the Kogi state house of assembly,” he said.

“All the transfer process of the share capital to Dangote from Obajana by the previous administration was without any law backing it by the state house of assembly.”

Source: TheCable

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