Okai Austin

Okai Austin noted variations in the resolutions of Governor Yahaya Bello and the state House of Assembly, calling for due processes in fighting companies like Dangote.

 

In the ongoing controversial fight between the government of Kogi State and the management of Dangote Group of Companies, there is a need for the government and the lawmakers in the state to be on the same page in order to achieve their aim.



This was the position of the People Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives candidate for Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency in the 2023 general elections, Usman Okai Austin.

Okai Austin noted variations in the resolutions of Governor Yahaya Bello and the state House of Assembly, calling for due processes in fighting companies like Dangote.

He said Kogi State must be fortified and tactical and define what it desires in the fight.

He said that “the resolution of the state assembly which is already in the public domain is on the controversial tax claims and inability to remit taxes to the state. Also, Kogi state governor’s explanation is that Dangote Cement Plc was shut due to an alleged invalid acquisition of the company by Dangote Industries Limited.

“Two Things are very key Here :

(1) Kogi State wants to take over the company since Obajana Cement was illegally acquired.

(2) The company violates Kogi tax law.

“The governor and the state assembly must be seen on the same page to achieve their aim. The obvious questions begging for right answers goes thus;Now what exactly does Kogi State desires? tax or ownership? We must define what we want and what we are fighting for, if we must succeed in this fight.”

Okai Austin

Meanwhile, the Management of Dangote Cement Plc. has declared that the Obajana Cement plant in Kogi State is owned 100 per cent by it and that the invasion of the plant last Wednesday by armed vigilantes “on the orders of the state government” was illegal.

Dangote Cement Plc, in the statement signed by its Group Managing Director (GMD) Michel Puchercos and titled, “Illegal Shutdown of Dangote Cement, Obajana Plant”, declared the firm’s full ownership of the Obajana plant, while berating the attack on the plant.

Puchercos said: “The Management of Dangote Cement Plc. wishes to inform members of the public, especially its customers and other stakeholders of the recent invasion of its Obajana Cement Plant, Kogi State by armed vigilantes on the orders of the state government.

“The vigilantes, led by some officials of the State government were apparently acting on a resolution of the Kogi State House of Assembly on controversial tax claims; claims that the state governor had also contradicted when he said the shutdown was due to an alleged invalid acquisition of the company by Dangote Industries Limited.”

He said in the process of forcefully evicting the company’s workers, to enforce the illegal shutdown, the vigilantes shot at 27 of the workers and also destroyed some of the company’s property at the plant.

Puchercos declared: “We have taken steps to get the hoodlums apprehended by the law enforcement agencies, and we will ensure that full legal action is taken against them.

“We therefore appeal to all our staff and our esteemed customers to remain calm while we explore all possible legal steps to address the situation. The welfare of our staff remains our key focus as we work hard to minimize further impact on our people and operations.

“While we reiterate that Obajana Cement plant is 100% owned by Dangote Cement PLC, we remain resolute in transforming Africa, while creating sustainable value for our people, communities, investors and customers.”



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