Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has described the recent attack on Dangote Cement Plant in Obajana, Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, as shocking and disappointing, positing that the incident is a reflection of poor handling of investment protection issues in Nigeria.
LCCI made these submissions in a press statement signed Friday by its Director-General, Dr. Chinyere Almona.
Almona stated that the Chamber believed that 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” the Chamber said.
LCCI recommended a meeting of all government agencies connected with the acquisition of the cement plant to resolve any differences thereof, noting that the process can be taken without necessarily shutting down the factory and endangering jobs, products, and government revenues.
This point, Almona stressed was critical as wrong handling or unprofessional approaches to resolutions can send negative signals to potential foreign investors.
LCCI recalled: “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”.
LCCI said it expected to see a swift intervention by the concerned agencies toward a win-win resolution, restating that sympathized with the families of injured and affected persons.
Recall that Kogi State government announced the closure of Dangote Cement plant Wednesday, October 5, 2022, following the allegation of some circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the company.
Jubilant youths were seen after the announcement celebrating the closure.