The news of the attack on the Dangote Cement Plant located in Obajana, Kogi State, on Wednesday, 5th October 2022, is shocking and disappointing. This attack is a reflection of the poor handling of investment protection issues in our country. The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes there are more decent ways to handle regulatory and legislative matters concerning businesses in Nigeria than resorting to violence.
The invasion of the Dangote Cement Factory by youths that led to the shooting of factory workers is unfortunate, ill-construed, and avoidable. We advocate a win-win situation for businesses and the government. We will therefore call on all parties to exercise caution and be protective of jobs, assets of production, and government revenues from corporate organizations like Dangote Cement Factory.
The Federal Government and Kogi State Government have hitherto benefited from business revenues and social investments. It is therefore expected that the government would be interested in creating an enabling business environment that can attract both local and foreign investors. And where there are infractions, handling such should be in accordance with best practices and the rule of law that protect investors’ rights and human lives.
We recommend a meeting of all government agencies connected with the acquisition of the cement plant to resolve any differences thereof. This process can be taken without necessarily shutting down the factory and endangering jobs, products, and government revenues. This point is critical as wrong handling or unprofessional approaches to resolutions can send negative signals to potential foreign investors.
The growing mining industry in Kogi State has benefitted from the production activities of the Dangote Cement Factory, which offers both infrastructural and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects to enhance the standard of living in the State. We see a role for the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the Nigeria Investment Protection Commission (NIPC), and the Kogi State Government in resolving this issue.
We, therefore, expect to see a swift intervention by these agencies toward a win-win resolution.
LCCI sympathizes with the families of injured and affected persons.
Dr. Chinyere Almona, FCA
Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Thursday 6th October 2022