• Monday, April 22, 2024
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Ebonyi National Assembly members disagree over Nkalagu cement


Federal lawmakers from Ebonyi State have disagreed over the ownership of Nigercem Nkalagu Cement with the state government asking Ibeto Group to hands off for it to find alternative investors.

Nigercem Nkalagu was established in 1954 as the premier cement factory in Nigeria and was initially owned by the Federal Government and the five South Eastern states.

Following the privatisation of Nigercem Nkalagu by the Federal Government in 2002, the Eastern Bulkcem Limited was selected as the core investor with a view to revitalising the company with Ebonyi State government as a strategic equity holder.

Paulinus Nwagu, senator representing Ebonyi Central, told newsmen that several years after the privatisation of the company, it became evident that the core investor was neither interested in nor capable of reactivating the company as it was essentially a cement bagging company.

Nwagu asked the people of Ishielu Local Government Area to ignore the antics of Ibeto Group and assured that the state government “will bring time-tested and genuine investors to reactivate and upgrade and modernise Nigercem in the overall economic interest of Ebonyi State”.

Peter Edeh, a member of the House of Representatives representing Ishielu constituency where the cement company is located, disagreed with other federal lawmakers from the state, saying the denial of Ibeto Group of ownership of the firm had denied the youths of the local government area employment.

He countered that a cartel was behind the war against Ibeto Group from commencing operations at the factory, saying, “Ibeto Group has 65 percent of the entire share and the company has assured that it could commence operations immediately and this would afford youths employment”.