Nigeria: Benue plans new cement company

Nigeria: Benue plans new cement company
Published: 03 November 2008

Despite the teething problems facing the Benue state government-owned Igumale Cement Company in Ado local government area, Governor Gabriel Suswam has laid the foundation stone for another cement plant.

Despite the teething problems facing the Benue state government-owned Igumale Cement Company in Ado local government area, Governor Gabriel Suswam has laid the foundation stone for another cement company at Mbatiav near the Benue Cement Company (BCC), Gboko.

Speaking at the ceremony, the governor said the cement company would be built by Fanison International Nigeria Limited at the cost of US$299m.

Suswam said the project would take three years to be completed and announced that it would be funded 100 per cent by Fanison International Nigeria Limited through the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) method of establishing industries.

He explained that the cement company would be run by the firm for seven years after which the state government would take over and estimated the production capacity to be 1Mta.

Suswam said past administrations had made efforts at establishing the cement company but its high cost and lack of credible partners stunted the project.

He said limestone was discovered at Mbatiav in 1912 and assured that an independent power plant with coal as its source of fuel would be established in the area.

Suswam, who had laid the foundation stone for the N1.5bn and N2.6bn Katsina-Ala and Otobi Water Works the previous day, promised to construct and dualise the 10km road leading to Mbatiav.

Before Akume left office, he had planned to establish Igumale Cement Company in Ado local government area but as soon as he conceived the project, the idea died.

When Suswam visited Igumale in continuation of his 2007 electioneering campaign, he promised to revive the project but it would appear that the Mbatiav project has been given more priority.