FG Hands Over 43% Onigbolo Cement Equity To Dangote Industries

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, Sept 21, (THEWILL) - The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has handed over Nigerian government’s 43 % equity in Onigbolo Cement Company (OCC) in Benin Republic to Dangote Industries Limited (DIL.) The handover ceremony took place on Monday, at the company’s premises at Onigbolo.

The certificate of transfer was presented by the Director General of the BPE, Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, to Engineer Joseph Makoju, A Special Adviser to Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

Onagoruwa said the privatisation of the cement company is purposed to ensure the greater development of the cement industry in the West African sub-region and promised that the BPE in collaboration with its Beninoise counterpart will offer all statutory assistance to make the new owners succeed. According to her, "we owe that as a duty to our people whose mandate we have discharged by selling our equities in the company to them."

In his remarks, Makoju said that Dangote Industries Ltd is highly honoured to "inherit the Federal Government’s equity in Onigbolo Cement Company." He described the ceremony as a piece of history given that the vision of the founding fathers of ECOWAS was political and economic integration. "DIL is conscious of the vision of the founding fathers. We will use this investment to further the vision." He assured that DIL will "ensure that the privatisation of OCC translates to efficiency and more profitability."

Onigbolo Cement Company was established in 1982 as a joint venture company between Nigeria and Benin Republic. It commenced activities in 1983, with a shareholding structure of 43 % equity to Nigeria, 51 % to Benin Republic and the balance to FL Smith.

The company is currently operating with an installed capacity of 600, 000 tonnes of cement per annum. The company has mines of 3, 000m by 1, 000m,limestone and clay quarry which is currently on a renewable 30 years lease from the Republic of Benin.

Meanwhile, the government of Benin Republic has ceded its 51 % equity in Onigbolo Cement Company to SCB-Lafarge.