- Dangote Cement and Kogi State are embroiled in a dispute over the ownership of the Obajana cement factory
- While Dangote is saying that the state government is alleging tax default, and the state government said Dangote illegally acquired the facility
- Dangote claimed that the government shot its workers using vigilantes, and the state said Dangote should provide ownership of the plant
The back and forth between Dangote Cement and Kogi State government is getting messier by the day as both sides refuse to sheath swords over the brawl of the Obajana cement factory.
The crisis deepened on Friday, October 7, 2022, as the state government and the cement company continued to lay claims on the facility.
Kogi state dares Dangote
The Dangote Cement has vowed to take the state government to court over the invasion of the plant and the shooting of employees at the factory by armed men.
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On Wednesday, October 6, 2022, the Kogi State government officials moved to seal the facility, which it claimed belonged to the state.
Although the government said one person was shot during the chaos that ensued, the cement company claimed that 27 of its workers were shot by vigilantes acting on the state government's orders.
Governor Yahaya Bello had on Thursday said the state government would be ready to negotiate with Dangote Group once the firm was ready to admit that the plant belonged to the state.
The state governor, Yaya Bello, while presenting documents compiled by the Specialised Committee on the Evaluation of the Legality of Acquisition of Obajana Cement by the company to consolidate its claim on the ownership of the facility, said the state followed several petitions by community owners over marginalisation.
Bello said the government got a lot of petitions over the issue, saying that in the last five years, all efforts to dialogue with the firm failed.
Dangote threatens legal action
But, The Punch reports. In a statement signed by Micheal Pucerous, the company's Managing Director, Dangote stated that the armed men acted on the decision of the state House of Assembly on controversial tax claims, which he said Bello contradicted during his statement.
Pucherous stated that during the forceful eviction of the workers to enforce the plant's shutdown, about 27 workers were shot, and properties belonging to the company were destroyed.
The state government accused Dangote Cement of distorting information and promised to recover all accrued profits made over the years and interest.
In a statement, the state commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, said the state government has all the required documents to prove its ownership of the Obajana factory.
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Government has cautioned the Dangote Group against venting its frustration on the state government in the ongoing Obajana Cement ownership squabble.
The warning came after fire gutted the Kogi State House of Assembly in the early hours of Monday, October 10, 2022.
The State’s Commissioner for Information, Fanwo said Dangote should focus on providing proof of ownership of the facility instead of chasing shadows.
Keypoints of the debacle
- Dangote says Kogi shut down the factory over tax payments
- Kogi State government says Dangote did not legally acquire the plant
- Dangote said the plant legally belongs to it
Kogi Govt moves to take over Obajana Cement Plant from Dangote, company reacts
Recall that Legit.ng reported that 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.