The South-East Nigeria Economic Commission (SENEC) has indicated interest and indeed on fast move to re-posses the collapsed Nigeria’s Premier Cement factory, NIGERCEM at Nkalagu, Ebonyi state. SENEC move followed the failure of NIGERCEM’s present core investor, Eastern Bulkcem Company Limited (EBCL) to put the factory back to life, seven years after the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) sold it to EBCL, who professionally are only baggers of cement in Port-Harcourt.
Confirming SENEC’s move to Vanguard, Chairman interim steering Committee of SENEC, engineer Chris Okoye said, Nigercem is one of the proposed world-class companies that SENEC wants to use to revitalise the South-East economy. Okoye said that SENEC is aware that PBE has a time lag for any investor to turn around any acquired company, which in the case of Nigercem, EBCL has shown obvious failure and lack of capacity to revitalise the factory that used to be the pride of Ndigbo”.
The South- East Nigeria Economic Commission, SENEC, is a common economic front for all the South East states that adopts Pubic-Private-Community partnership model in returning the zone back to its lost glory of fast growing economy before the Nigeria civil war.
Okoye said SENEC is aware and commends efforts being made by Ebonyi state government to retrieve Nigercem from EBCL, which has shown incompetence in resuscitating the ailing industry, but that SENEC is assuring Ebonyi and indeed the former five state owners of Nigercem that all hope will be restored if SENEC takes over.
“I am aware that the lime stone at Nkalagu cement factory which was probably the first cement manufacturing factory in Africa is enough to guarantee production of cement for the next 300 years. The only problem is that they started with the wet process as against the dry process, but if they had continued, they would have changed to a new lime of dry production and that is what we intended to do there”.