LG Denies Protesting Dangote Closure * As community rejoices company’s closure

Posted: January 17, 2013 in BENUE, political, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

aliko Sequel to reports in various national dailies attributed to the Chairman Gboko local government council alleging that the Council is lamenting the loss of 15 million accruable to the local government in tax revenue due to the closure of the Dangote cement plant Gboko, the Chairman, Hon. Nahan Zenda has denied such allegations.
Speaking exclusively to atiterkula in his office yesterday, Hon. Zenda who expressed shock on reading the reports stated that he had at no point told the newsmen that his council was loosing any revenue
even as the company it was not collecting any from Dangote.

gabriel suswam
According to him, the reports were a work of mischief engineered by the Media Relations Manager of Dangote PLC, Mr. Jibrin Abubakar, who according to the chairman had on come to his office in company of journalists on a supposed courtesy visit which turned to be a cover for the realized mischief.
“I never granted interview concerning revenue from Dangote, as a matter of fact since I came on board taxes have been suspended. One Jibrin came to my office with journalists on an official visit, I thought they were instead coming to express their desire to better the wrongs they have occasioned my people, and not knowing the visit was aimed at using my office as a cover for mischief”. He regretted.
Hon. Zenda further lamented that the Dangote plc had reneged on its agreement with the people and as such there was no way they would protest the company’s closure as stated in the publications. He stated that the company which had agreed to many corporate civil responsibility problems but had failed to live up to their promise.
When contacted the Media Relations Manager of Dangote Plc, Mr. Jubrin Abubakar, denied knowledge of any publication of such manner, he claimed that the writings were the work of mischief by the concerned journalists as his company had not released such information and promised to call the reporters to order and also tender a public refutal of such misinformation.

This is even as the Mbayion Community which hosts the Dangote Cement Plant, Gboko has described the closure of the plant as a blessing to the community as against the earlier statement accorded to her
attributed to her that she was at a loss over the factories non-production and closure.
Speaking to journalists in Makurdi a community leader Hon. Ioryue Yajiir, said compared to the billions that the Dangote plant declares in a single quarter, there is no contract worth at least 5 Million Naira excuted by Dangote cement plant for the Host community of Mbayion since it took over the Cement company.
According to him, Dangote cement company only renovated classrooms, sunk a couple of boreholes in which many are not functional; pointing out that in a year he gives Mbayion students 10 million Naira as
“…therefore the closure of Dangote Cement plant Gboko, the Mbayion community looses nothing. If it were not Dangote, the community would have been better off with a benevolent investor like Cementia Lafarge which lost out during the bid for the factory. After all how many Benue indigenes are in the management cadre of the company? The highest ranking Benue indigene is Dr. Bem Meladu who is the Assistant General Manager Corporate Affairs”. He lamented.
The community youth Activist, pointed out that, on average six hundred trailers load cement per day with nothing tangible on ground for the benefit of the host community. “ let him show us a concrete project he has executed for the community. No hospital for the community to go if affected by the pollution caused by the factory as he has done for the Obajana Plant in Kogi state”.
Mr.Yajir maintained that in spite of the fact that some local food vendors sell by the road side and may be affected by the closure of the plant and some youth employed as security staff, they double as
farmers and therefore the closure may not seriously affect them as they have alternative sources of living. He added that if Dangote group is loosing profit, he should vacate the factory.
He wondered why the same Dangote group which is lobbying the community for the expansion of the cement plant is at the same time crying of the importation of cement into the country by a cabal while the cement he produces is more expensive in the Benue market.
“Therefore the recent working visit of Dangote’s North Central Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Jibrin  Abubakar, mobilizing the host community to protest the importation of cement into the country by what he described as a cabal was uncalled for, the community is better off with the factory’s closure.”
Reacting to allegations in a national daily that the Gboko Local Government is lamenting their non receipt of the monthly 10 million Naira Tax returns from Dangote Cement PLC, Gboko, which has depleted the Internal Generated Revenue of the Local Government, the immediate past Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Local Government Hon. Ioryue Yajiir, yesterday refuted the claim saying it was a figment of their imagination.
The former Chairman who was visibly infuriated by the statement which appeared in a number of national dailies told atiterkula in an interview that the local government has never benefitted from that
kind of largesse as quoted by the publication. He denied that while in office, Dangote Cement PLC never paid such sums of money to the council and there was neither any record to such effect adding that
since the company closed production immediately after his exit from office, it is not true the company remitted such tax to Gboko local government.
It can be recalled that the Dangote Cement Company had recently launched a campaign decrying the  importation of cement and the product’s low demand as against surplus local production which they
claimed is responsible for the glut in the country’s cement industry, a situation to which it attributes the recent closure of the Gboko plant.
It could be recalled that only last week, many national dailies were awash with news of protests by the Mbayion community of Benue state over the closure of the Dangote cement plant sited in their area. The reports also claimed that the local government chairman had also lamented the loss of 15 million naira in the weeks in which the company had been closed.

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