By Sunday Ajayi – Lokoja
The Kogi state House of Assembly has summoned Dangote Cement Limited to appear before her on Thursday to shed more lights on how hitherto Obajana Cement was acquired by the company.
This is as the Management of Dangote Cement Limited refused to appear before House on Saturday in Lokoja, without responsible excuse for their inability to honour the invitation.
This was disclosed yesterday (Saturday) by the Speaker Kogi state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Matthew Kolawole at the Hallowed Chamber of the House for the botched public hearing with the management of Dangote Cement Limited.
The Speaker noted that the invitation to Dangote Cement Company and other companies operating in the state became necessary to demand the state’s fair share from the companies.
He added that despite the huge amount of resources being taken away from the soil of the state, lamented at is being paid to the government coffer as revenue is nothing to write home about.
According to him , the invitation is simply a demand for the rights of the state to a fair share of resources taken out of her soil, stressing that the summons should not be misconstrued to witch hunting.
He decried the manner in which Obajana Cement which was wholly owned by the state was taken over by Dangote Cement Limited, adding that, the public hearing is meant to unearth the secret behind the acquisition.
Kolawole explained that the House is not unmindful of what transpired in the past, saying they are making reference to it to avoid a repeat in the future.
According to him” We are currently investigating sources of our Internally Generated Revenues IGR and we believe it is expedient for the House to interface with some companies operating in the state.
” For example, Dangote Cement Limited started as Obajana Cement company. Kogi state House of Assembly is interested and curious to know what happened at a point that the company transformed to Dangote Cement Limited.
” We want to know what is the benefits of the state in the company. What is the equity share of the state in the company.
” We are beaming our searchlights on all companies in the state as we not particular about Dangote.
We have Mangal Limited, we have some that are into mining coal , Limestones, Gold, even as different kinds of solid minerals are being mined out of kogi on daily basis.
” For instance, over 100 trailers load coals out of Kogi East on daily affairs. We want to know on whose instruction are they paying their dues. We are interested in doing business with companies that will give us our fair share of the quantum of resources taken out of our soil.
” We are not against any organisation, but let the right things be done at the right time . We enjoined them to give to us what belongs to us and that is why we are here.
” We are confident that when the report would be written a lot of discovery will be made. We invited Dangote and they are not here. I have directed the committee to invite Dangote for Thursday and ensure that they acknowledge receipt of the correspondence” He disclosed.
Meanwhile, the House had already invited Dangote for Saturday for special session, which saw the presence of the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Ayoade Arike , Heads of Government Agencies but the Dangote group failed to turn up.