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Kogi State insists no evidence of consideration paid by Dangote Industries Limited for transfer of Obajana Cement

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The Kogi State Government insists that there is no evidence of consideration paid by Dangote Industries Limited to it 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. 

This was disclosed in a statement by the Information Commissioner, Kingsley Fanwo, in Lokoja on Friday, while responding to allegations of impropriety for shutting down the Obajana plant. 

Kogi State added that the agreement between both parties signed in 2002 and 2003 for the transfer of the plant is “invalid, null and void”. 

The State Government claimed that Obajana Cement Factory is not 100 percent owned by the Dangote Conglomerate, citing that there was no acquisition, they also stated they plan to recover all accrued dividends from profits made over the years from the plant. 

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Commissioner, Kingsley Fanwo, in Lokoja said the state would form what is called the Specialised Technical Committee on the Evaluation of the Legality of the Alleged Acquisition of Obajana Cement Company Plc by Dangote Cement Company Limited has expressly asked the Kogi State Government to cancel the existing seven Certificates of Occupancy. 

“This is part of the recommendations contained in the report of a 10-man committee, headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. (Mrs) Folashade Ayoade, and submitted to Governor Yahaya Bello of the state. 

”It’s very important to make it clear to the general public that the state has all the relevant documents to prove that the purported acquisition of Obajana by Dangote was null and void,” he said. 

He added that what belongs to the state shall be recovered, including all dividends and interests on profits from inception till date citing that the Dangote Group is just distorting facts to save its face. 

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“The detailed committee report, which was made public on Thursday, by the SSG, also charged the government to take steps to recover Obajana Cement Company Plc now changed to Dangote Cement Company Plc. 

“Ayodele had revealed with documents that the purported transfer of Obajana to Dangote Industries Limited, was “invalid, null and void”. 

“She disclosed in the report that three Certificates of Occupancy for Obajana Cement Company Plc, which were solely owned by the Kogi State Government at the time, were used to obtain a loan of N63 billion by Dangote,” he said. 

The committee stated that the Agreement between the Kogi State Government of Nigeria and Dangote Industries Limited, dated 30th July 2002, and supplemental agreement dated 14th February 2003, as contained in Exhibit 71 of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry Report, purporting the transfer of Obajana Cement Company Plc to Dangote Industries Limited, are all invalid, null and void. 

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“There is no evidence of consideration paid by Dangote Industries Limited to the Kogi State Government from the alleged transfer of Obajana Cement Company Plc and no dividend was paid to the state from the profits realized 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. The three documents were used to obtain a loan of sixty-three billion Naira only (N63,000,000,000.00) to finance the construction of the cement plant in Obajana, ” they added. 

Recall that on October 5, 2022, the Kogi State Government shut the entrance and exit gates of the Dangote cement factory, Obajana, and prevented staff from resuming work. 

The state government has in recent times been involved in a running battle with Dangote Cement over the non-payment of tax to the state Revenue Service and controversy surrounding the state government ownership share in the company which led the state house assembly to invite the company to answer some questions. 

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Meanwhile, The management of Dangote Cement Plc its reaction to the shutdown of its plant at Obajana by the Kogi State Government appealed to all its staff and customers to remain calm while the company explores all possible legal steps to address the action by the government which it described as illegal. 

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