- Kogi state government is looking at taking over Obajana cement plants from Dangote Industries Limited
- The move is set to have a serious effect on Dangote's wealth as the factory in Obajana is its biggest cement plant in Africa
- Dangote Industries Limited has reacted to the move and also the sealing of the factory
Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, could lose its biggest cement factory in Obajana, Kogi state.
Kogi state government has already kicked off plans to take over the cement plan, which it claims belongs to the state, not Dangote.
The Dangote Cement plant in Obajana is the largest cement production facility in Africa, producing up to 30 000 tons daily.
Should the Kogi government succeeds, Dangote could watch his fortune plummet further from the already N155.59bn($359m) already lost in 2022, a check on Bloomberg report shows.
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Kogi seal cement plant
Already the cement plant has been sealed due to the “ownership tussle”.
TheCable reports that a specialised technical committee has been constituted to evaluate the legality of the alleged acquisition of Obajana Cement Company by Dangote Cement.
The committee on Thursday submitted its findings to Folashade Ayoade, secretary to the state government (SSG).
Kogi government, Dangote fight
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 recommended that Kogi state 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."
She also stated that three papers were used to acquire a loan of sixty-three billion Naira (63,000,000,000.00) to fund the development of the Obajana cement factory.
In response, Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello stated that he had taken the brave move in accordance with his mission to protect the lives and livelihoods of the people of Kogi state, including residents, and assure their well-being.
This, according to Bello, comes on the heels of protests by state residents who felt oppressed and marginalized by the Dangote Group.
“We received several petitions from the general public over this particular subject matter. In the past five to six years, all efforts to sit with the proprietors of the Dangote Conglomerate failed,” Bello said.
“We set up a committee to look into this and invited the Dangote company to discuss with them and tell them the imminent dangers they are exposing the people to, but it all fell on deaf ears.
“I am here to defend my people, and from all reports, it is clear that Obajana Cement Company does not belong to Dangote.”
Dangote industries' message to Kogi government
In reaction to the ownership tussle, Dangote released a press statement promising to find a solution while reiterating its commitment to investors and customers.
The press release reads:
“On Wednesday, 5 October 2022, thugs and local vigilantes from the State Government invaded and sealed the Obajana Cement plant over alleged claims of unpaid taxes and Kogi State Government purported equity interest in Dangote Cement PLC.
“This development led to several of our staff being harmed by these thugs and local vigilantes.
“While we reassure stakeholders and the public that we are taking firm action to address this situation, we reiterate that Dangote Cement PLC continues to perform its obligations as a compliant corporate organization.
“The welfare of our staff remains our key focus as we work hard to minimize the further impact on our people and operations.”
Dangote, Rabiu companies dominate the list of most valuable manufacturing companies
Legit.ng had earlier reported that Dangote cement and BUA cement are Nigeria's two most valuable listed manufacturing companies.
BUA foods, another company, owned by Abdulsamad, sat in the third position, while Nestle Nigeria completed the list of top four valuable manufacturing companies.
The ranking of the banks is according to data from the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX).