American investors visit moribund cement industry

By Chukwuemeka Opara

The moribund Nigerian Cement (NIGERCEM) Company, Nkalagu in Ebonyi, came to limelight on Monday when it hosted a team of American investors who were on a salvage mission.

The News Agency  reports that Gov. David Umahi and Chief Cletus Ibeto, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ibeto Cement Company, who is also the firm’s core investor, conducted team round the company.

Umahi welcomed the investors to the state, saying that the government and its people were elated by the efforts of the Ibeto cement company to revamp NIGERCEM.

“Ibeto Cement Company is establishing a new 6,000-tonne per day dry process cement plant and 45 megawatts capacity power plant as the project’s first phase.

“The brand, Ibeto is renowned in Nigeria and beyond, epitomising quality which has been tested and trusted.

“We have no doubt that his plans to build a new cement plant in Nkalagu will also be successful.”

Umahi assured the delegation that Ibeto would deliver on his promise.

News Agency recalls that the government had on July 20, 2018, received the visiting contractors of the new cement plant — SINOMAS Company of China and assured them of its unalloyed support to the project.”

The governor urged the investors to use their global reach through the investing world stockholders, particularly in the U.S., to invite others to invest in Ebonyi.

“Ebonyi is rich in ore, salt, lead, coal and other minerals and agricultural endowment and we have provided the enabling environment to nurture such investments.”

He assured the investors and Ibeto cement company that the `Investors Protection Act’ was promulgated to protects investors and their investments.

“This law ensures an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) with special agreement which insulates the investor from government interference and any change of government.

“In practical terms, it means that such investor with any interference by government, will recover his investments from all funds accruing to the state government,” Umahi said.

Bags of cement now for the rich?
Bags of cement now for the rich?

Chief Cletus Ibeto, in his remarks, thanked the government and people of Ebonyi for receiving the investors, noting that all stakeholders would cooperate in revamping NIGERCEM.

“I had visited the state with the Chinese contractors that would execute the project and these visiting investors could be called the project’s realisation team.

“They came to access the situation on ground and to see that what I am telling them about the project is true,” he said.

Mrs Amanda Wester, the Leader of the Investing Team, noted that the delegation was satisfied with what it saw and urged all stakeholders to ensure the success of the project.

“We are happy with the infrastructural strides of the state government and it would assist in proving the enabling environment for us to succeed,” she said.

NAN reports that goodwill messages were delivered at the occasion by Sen. Obinna Ogba (PDP-Ebonyi Central) Mr Henry Eze, Chairman of Ishiellu Local Government Area, among others.

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