Group of Shareholders Associations in Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to settle the rift between the government of Kogi State and Dangote Group.
Recently, some vigilantes allegedly sponsored by the Kogi State government invaded Dangote Cement Plant, injuring some workers and destroying the company’s assets.
The stakeholders, however, described the invasion barbaric, saying the government shouldn’t have resorted to its action.
The invasion, WikkiTimes learnt, victimised 27 workers of the company at its cement plant in Obajana.
Dr. Faruk Umar, President Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Shareholders, expressed disaffection over the incident.
According to him, it is unfortunate that a company that has championed investment worth billions of naira could be dealt with that way.
He called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, caution the Governor of Kogi State to be more civilized and professional in its dealing with Investors in the state.
“Why should the governor of a state in Nigeria, mobilized vigilantes to seal a publicly quoted company? The same Governor did exactly the same thing to First Bank, making the bank close some of its branches in the state. Is that not executive rascality, using the state assembly to commit such an atrocious act?
“Federal Government should swing into action by protecting investors, else, the efforts being made to attract both foreign and local investors will come to naught. I hope the state realizes that Dangote Cement has foreign shareholders. What impression do you want these people to have of our government? I also urge the Federal Government to fish out those thugs, used by the State, for prosecution, so as to serve as a deterrent to others…This action will lead to loss of revenue, even for the Government, in terms of taxes, and erode the shareholder’s value”, said Faruk.
In a related development, the founder of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) and President of Boys Brigade Nigeria (BBN), Sunny Nwosu, said a reasonable state government would have gone to court against any publicly quoted company rather than resorting to a barbaric and ruthless method of chasing workers with guns and cutlass in our today’s civilized world.
“What the Kogi State Government did, honestly was very bad and disappointing. How can a state use vigilante with guns and cutlasses against a company that is feeding thousands of its people? A reasonable government should have gone to Court and not taken laws into its hands.
“This action is bad and will smear the image of both the Federal and State government. It will also affect the ranking of ease of doing business in Nigeria. Kogi is blessed with so many natural resources, but with the attitude of this government, I doubt if any reasonable investor, either local or foreign, will want to do anything with the state anymore,” said Sunny.
The President, Pragmatic Shareholders Association, Mrs Bisi Bakare on her part said, “as an investor, we are not happy about the way things are going. If the state has problems with Dangote Cement on tax issues or any issue at all, there are a far better-civilized ways of handling it than sealing a factory that is contributing more than 30 percent of the cement Nigerians are consuming.
“The governor should realize that his position is transient and that the people of his state, whom he has deprived their means of livelihood will always remember him for bad! Can you imagine the number of people that will be out of jobs and the huge revenue loss to the government, the company, and us, the shareholders? The state, to me, has done a very grave mistake and the earlier the company is re-opened the better.”