Group urges FG to stop Kogi state government from harassing investors
The Group of Shareholders Associations has urged the Federal Government to stop the Kogi State government from harassing investors as it could scare away both local and foreign investments.
This is coming on the heels of the recent battle between the state governor, Yahaya Bello, and the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana plant, during which armed members of the state’s security outfit, shot staff of the company and wounded several others.
The group described the use of thugs to embarrass investors in the state as ‘barbaric’ as meted out on Dangote cement and other companies located in Kogi, noting that such unsavoury development would strongly discourage both local and foreign investments from coming into the country.
The President of the Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Shareholders, Dr. Umar Faruk, criticised the state government for being insensitive to its populace, thousands of whom depend on Dangote Cement Obajana for their livelihoods.
He said it was unfortunate that Dangote, who has set-up investments, worth billions of naira, in the country was being treated in that manner.
He called on the Federal Government, to, as a matter of urgency, caution the governor to be more civilised and professional in its dealing with investors in the state.
“Federal Government should swing into action by protecting investors, else, the efforts being made to attract both foreign and local investors would will come to naught. I hope the state realizes that Dangote Cement has foreign shareholders. What impression do you want these people to have of our government?
“I also urge the Federal Government to fish out those thugs, for prosecution, to serve as a deterrent to others. This action will lead to loss of revenue, even for the government, in terms of taxes and erode the shareholder’s value,” he said.
Also speaking, the Founder of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, said the state government would have gone to court against the publicly-quoted company rather than resorting to crude.
“Kogi state is blessed with many natural resources, but with the attitude of this government, I doubt if any reasonable investor, either local or foreign, will want to do anything with the state anymore,” he stated.
The President of the Pragmatic Shareholders Association, Mrs. Bisi Bakare, said investors are unhappy about the state’s rising hostility.
She said if the state has problems with Dangote Cement on tax or any other issue, there should more civilised ways of handling the matter.