Cement production will soon commence at the Nigeria Cement Company in Nkalagu, Ebonyi State, South Eastern region of Nigeria . This followed the signing of deed of understanding/terms of settlement between NIGERCEM and representatives of the four host communities town of Nkalagu, Nkalaha, Umuhuali, Amaezu and the Ebonyi State Government.
With the signing of the pact in Abakaliki, the legal battles that had in the past affected the reopening of the once foremost indigenous cement production firm have been put to rest. The parties resolved that papers be filed in court as soon as possible so that all cases pending before the court could be withdrawn.
The immediate past administration, led by Chief Martin Elechi, had consistently closed their door for an out of court settlement, against Dr. Cletus Ibeto, who re-acquired the firm from Eastern Bulkcem had tried to revamp the cement factory which was popularly known as NIGERCEM. In 2012, the Elechi administration warned IBETO GROUP against what it called illegal entry into the premises of NigerCem premises, saying its ownership was a subject of dispute in the courts.
An elated Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi; Ibeto and the SSA to the Governor on Cement Production, Prince Sunday Ugwuocha, described the signing of the MoU as milestone towards the revitalisation of the company.
Governor Umahi, who said he had in line with the popular demand of the host communities promised to allow Ibeto revamp the firm, noted that the journey to its realisation was not an easy one. He thanked the Cement Production Implementation Committee, set up by his administration, for doing a good job, assured Ebonyi people that their 10% equity ownership of NIGERCEM was still intact.
The core investor, Dr. Ibeto, praised Umahi’s ruggedness, saying Ebonyians owed him (governor) for ensuring that the journey to revamp NigerCem started on a good footing. He thanked Governor Umahi for creating the enabling environment for the takeoff of NIGERCEM.