The N12bn Ibeto Cement Factory in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday took delivery of 35,000t of bulk cement (about 1,750 bags) to hit the market today after over two years of closure ordered by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The consignment, which came on board a 53,000 deadweight vessel, MV Medi Osaka from Indonesia, was seen at the discharging bay of the company at Bundu Ama Jetty, while Chief Executive of the Ibeto Group of Companies, Mr Cletus Madubugwu Ibeto assured that the next consignment would be due in 10 days.
He expressed happiness that the dark time of the company was over courtesy of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, adding that he was not going to look at the losses occasioned by the closure but was committed to keeping to his words of crashing the price of cement in Nigeria.
"Whatever it will take us to bring the price of cement down, we will do it. We will not allow the monopolistic gangs to take over," he assured.
Ibeto who danced to the rhythm of the music supplied by host community dance troop to celebrate business commencement, said Ibeto Cement is offering employment to over 2,000 peoples.
promised that he would assistthe federal government to ensure that the prices ofcement was affordable and cheaply available.
Asked on what he thinks the prices would be, hereplied that it should be form N1250 per bag and crashfrom there, adding that Nigerians should get ready tobuild their own houses as the product would be cheaply available.
He said that though it was a capital intensive venture, he has a laid down plan to graduate from rebagging to proper local production through use oflime stone which may take some time to accomplish.On how the nation would be freed from the importationof cement, he said it would take some time to achievebut agreed that it is achievable and expressed hisreadiness to work top assist the housing policy of the present administration which allowed life back to the production line of the factory.In what amounted to counting his loses, he said partsof his equipment caked while some rottened but thatthe thought of the loss would bog him down so he wouldnot want to contemplate looking at it or the project may not move forward.