From: Ati Terkula in Makurdi

The Benue cement factory built in 1982 was one of the largest cement factories in Western Africa. It was a major employer of labour .
The Mbayion community which hosts the factory has a massive deposit of limestone capable of providing for three more of such factories. With this deposits stretching as far as covering Gboko, Guma, Konshisha, and Gwer local governments, the cement factory was cited in Yandev which is the centre of these limestone rich area in order to ease movement of this limestone from whatever point to the factory.
Whilst the BCC (as it popularly called), boomed in the early 1980’s and 90’s, apart from revenue generation for the state, it not only provided means of livelihood for the state but even neighbouring states as can be seen in the case of former plateau state governor, Sen. Joshua Chibi Dariye, who was once a staff of this great establishment.
Unfortunately, the state has been robbed of this goose that laid golden eggs as the state’s largest employer of labour and biggest factory in the state has fallen into the hands of the biggest capitalist in the nation- Dangote PLC.
The aim of this discourse is not to devil-paint, the business magnate, Alh. Aliko Dangote, CFR and his business empire. He is an astute business man, a shrewd investor and I doff my hat for his acumen.
But my grouse is why should the host community suffer? Where are the benefits of having such a big factory located in your milieu?
I do not intend to go into the rudiments of the sale neither is it my desire to scrutinize the politics behind it as I may have to deviate entirely from my purpose.
Now, Yandev, the host community is be-deviled with so many issues from violence between the host community and tanker drivers belonging to Dangote PLC, to environmental dangers (gully erosion), occasioned by the massive exploitatory, excavatory exercise carried out by Dangote Plc, this ridding the host community of land for agriculture – Benue’s mainstay, amidst refusal to employ indigenes and even locals into the lowest of jobs as haulage men.
There was a probe at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), looking into sale of such property; I wonder what has become of that committee? (Anyway, I was not one of those shouting Hosanna, neither was I moved to join in the struggle as I have seen this too often end nowhere).
My point is, when will the people of Nigeria see that capitalism, marginalisation and oppression exist in other parts of the country? Do we all have to carry arms to be treated fairly? To Dangote, what has happened to corporate responsibility?
This is why I beg “Give us our Cement as it is in Niger Delta!”

  1. Hembadoon says:

    Have expressed concerns over this issue severally but who pays attention? Our people face huge health risks among other challenges posed by the presence of this company and our elite seem not to be moved by any of these.


  2. Eric says:

    Only to say may God hear our prayer and liberate us from Aliko’s hand.


    • atiterkula says:

      Eric i agree with you only God can help us, but i also think we can do some more to stop this evil. tell somone about it everyday. the arab revolutions started by spread of information. Cheers, ATI TERKULA ADMIN


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