Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has made known the position of his administration on the ongoing face-off with Dangote Group over ownership of the cement plant in Obajana.
Speaking during the public presentation of the report of the Specialised Technical Committee on the Evaluation of the Legality of the Alleged Acquisition of Obajana Cement Company Plc by Dangote Cement Company Limited in Lokoja on Thursday, Bello said the state is open to discussions once Dangote Company Plc is ready to come clean.
Bello said all efforts to sit with the proprietors of the Dangote Conglomerate in the last six years failed.
He, however, submitted that Dangote Group cannot claim the ownership of the cement company in Obajana based on official reports and other documents at the disposal of the state government.
“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.
“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.
“We have taken the bold step in line with his mandate to safeguard the lives and livelihood of the people of Kogi State, including residents, and to ensure their wellbeing.
“I am here to defend my people, and from all reports, it is clear that Obajana Cement Company does not belong to Dangote,” Bello insisted.
The Speaker of State Assembly, Kolawole Matthew said “it is clear that you cannot sell a state government property of any form without the resolution of the Kogi State House of Assembly.
“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.”