November 25, 2011
Anytime from now, Dangote Group will roll out drums in commissioning its 6 million metric tons per annum cement plant cited in Ibeshe, Ogun State as work on the plant has been concluded. With the commissioning, the country will end importation of cement into the country as total supply of cement into the market by the manufacturers will by far surpass the total demand of cement in the country.
With the commissioning of the Ibeshe plant and the conclusion of the third line in Obajana Plant of the Dangote Cement, the company will have an annual cement production of over 20 metric tons as against the total demand of 17 million metric tons for the country.
Meanwhile the fourteen host Communities to the Dangote Cement, Ibese plant in Ogun State have lauded the entrepreneurial spirit of Alhaji Aliko Dangote and promised to maintain peace for successful operation of the factory. They said the decision by Dangote to cite the plant in their territory must be reciprocated by maintaining good relationship with the Company and ensuring that peace reign for the benefit of all the parties.
Speaking with newsmen at Ibese, Chairman of the Joint Host Communities Forum, Dr. Hezekiah Idowu explained that the irreducible minimum that the communities could give to show appreciation for the establishment of the Dangote Cement Plant is to ensure an harmonious relationship exists between the host communities and the Cement Company.
He stated that all groups, traditional rulers and the youths in the fourteen host Communities have met and agreed that they would do all within their power to see that the yet to be commissioned cement plant operates in an atmosphere of peace.
Dr. Idowu recalled the efforts made by the Communities to attract investors to the area to explore the mineral resources without success until Dangote was contacted and promptly moved in to assess the area and commenced the process of building the plant.
“I am happy the Ibese Cement plant will soon be commissioned. God will bless Dangote. We made several efforts to attract investors to Ibese. Come and see, we have resources here, no way, they won’t come. Not until we contacted Dangote, I can remember vividly when we took a letter to him in August 2001, inviting him to come and see what he could establish here.
“A detribalized man, he looked and at the letter and responded swiftly. He didn’t say these people are not Hausas, I won’t do anything. This is the result of the letter. And since he moved into the site, we have been praying for him and God has been answering our prayer. We thank God, the cement plant is now ready.
“Those who don’t know our communities, now they will know, we are already playing host to international guests. Our limestone resource has fished our communities out of obscurity to limelight. We thank Dangote immensely. He is a pan-African who does not discriminate”, he stated.
Dr. Idowu also explained that Dangote had settled all compensations to the host communities, noting that immediately the crop enumeration was completed, the farmers were settled before the land owners were compensated.
He stressed; “Everything we asked for, he has done. Even when the first compensation developed wing and flew away between Lagos and Ibese, Dangote paid again. We told him, our youths need jobs and they have been informing us of vacancies and host communities have been bringing their candidates for employment. The only thing we owe him is to ensure we guarantee peace and security of his investment in our domain. We thank him.”
According to him, all the traditional rulers in the host communities have met and cautioned their people against doing anything that will have negative impact on the cement plant because it has become a joint heritage that needs to be protected.
Dr. Idowu, a former editor in the defunct Daily Times newspaper said however that the citing of the cement plant was not enough as the Communities would still beg Dangote to help in the development of the area through provision of basic amenities like water, roads and health care centers.