The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) have flayed the Kogi government’s shutting down of Dangote Cement. LCCI and NACCIMA also condemned an attack on the Obajana plant of Dangote Cement.
Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration and Aliko Dangote have been at loggerheads over the acquisition of the Obajana cement factory, resulting in the Kogi House of Assembly threatening to arrest Mr Dangote for failing to honour its invitation.
LCCI and NACCIMA called for the intervention of relevant agencies to enable the Kogi government and Dangote Cement Plc to reach an amicable resolution. They made the call on Friday in separate statements in reaction to the attack on Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana, which left about seven persons injured and property destroyed.
LCCI director-general Chinyere Almona described the news of the attack on the Dangote Cement plant as shocking, disappointing, ill-constructed, and avoidable.
Ms Almona said the attack reflected the poor handling of investment protection in Nigeria. She recommended a meeting of all government agencies connected with the acquisition of the cement plant to resolve the crisis.
“The chamber sees a role for the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the Nigeria Investment Protection Commission (NIPC), and the Kogi state government in resolving the issue,” said the LCCI statement. “The growing mining industry in Kogi State has benefitted from the production activities of the Dangote Cement Factory, which offers both infrastructural and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects to enhance the standard of living in the state.”
It added, “We advocate a win-win situation for businesses and the government and will, therefore, call on all parties to exercise caution and be protective of jobs, assets of production, and government revenues from corporate organisations like Dangote Cement factory.”
NACCIMA director-general Olusola Obadimu regretted the action of the Kogi government, which resulted in the hasty shutdown of the Dangote Cement factory at Obajana.
“We thus suggest that the company be reopened as quickly as possible to enable it to continue its operation and fulfil its necessary responsibilities. This is not just on tax but also (to) keep the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in its direct and indirect employment dutifully engaged and, furthermore, sustain its crucial services, not just to the people and government of Kogi State but Nigeria in general,” the NACCIMA director-general noted.