Home » Cement plant owned by Aliko Dangote’s Dangote Cement under ‘lock and key’ as state gov’t plans recovery

Cement plant owned by Aliko Dangote’s Dangote Cement under ‘lock and key’ as state gov’t plans recovery

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Aliko Dangote

Obajana Cement Company, a cement factory owned and controlled by Dangote Cement Plc, has been placed under lock and key following a recent ownership tussle between Dangote Industries Limited and the Kogi State government — a state government in Nigeria’s north-central region.

Dangote Cement is Africa’s largest cement producer, with a 51.55-million-tonne-per-year production capacity spread across ten countries. Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote owns 86 percent of Dangote Cement through his manufacturing group Dangote Industries Limited. 

The Obajana Cement Factory, which opened in 2008, is the group’s flagship plant and the largest of its three factories in Nigeria, with a capacity of 16.25 million tonnes per annum across five lines. The factory, which is supported by a fleet of 2,370 trucks, has 647 million tonnes of limestone reserves, which are expected to last for about 45 years.

Resolutions contained in a report on the legality of the alleged acquisition of Obajana Cement Company by Dangote Cement revealed that the transfer of Obajana Cement Company to Dangote Industries Limited was “invalid, null and void,” according to the Kogi State government.

The Kogi State government disclosed that its agreement with Dangote Industries Limited, dated July 30, and the supplemental agreement dated Feb. 14, 2003, representing the transfer of Obajana Cement Company to Dangote Industries Limited, are both invalid, null, and void.

It further challenged the ownership of the cement plant, claiming that there is no evidence of consideration paid by Dangote Industries Limited to the Kogi State government from the alleged transfer of Obajana Cement Company and that no dividend was paid to the state from the profits realized from the company’s inception to the present.

The committee, which was presided over by Folashade Ayoade, secretary to the state government, also suggested that the Kogi State government take action to recover all accrued dividends from profits made over the years, as well as accrued interest on those profits.

While providing more details about the recent decision to close the cement plant, Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello stated that the decision was made in response to several petitions from members of the local community who felt marginalized by the company.

“We received several petitions from the general public on this subject,” Bello said. “All efforts to meet with the Dangote Conglomerate’s owners have failed in the last five to six years.”

The state governor went on to say that the state was willing to talk if Dangote Company was.

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