Nigercem to return in three years
As the price of cement continues to rise, the Ebonyi State government has expressed optimism that the Nigeria Cement Factory, Nkalagu, makers of the NIGERCEM brand, would come alive in the next three years.
The government said there was no rivalry between it and Ibeto Group, the core-investors in the firm, pointing out that the abundance of limestone deposits in the state, make cement production profitable for as many cement producers as possible.
Giving further insights into the reactivation of the firm in an interaction with The Guardian, Special Adviser to the governor, Mr. Sunday Ugwuocha, assured that it would take two or three years for the firm to come fully on stream.
He said it would take that long for the firm to bounce back because of the “fact that all the equipment there will be replaced with modern equipment for dry process; what we use to have before now are equipment for wet process.”
Ugwuocha added that due diligence was carried out before now, and discussions have reached advanced stage for the rehabilitation of the plant, pointing out that concerns about the depth of decay does not reduce the reality of reactivation.
“What is very germane is the issue of raw material, which is the limestone deposits and they are still in abundance, which lends credence to the interest of the core investor to revive the plant,” he stated.
He added that the state government’s plan to establish another cement company does not interfere with the progress of Nigercem.His words: “There is no rivalry; it’s an open business and there is nothing wrong if more plants can spring up. Ibeto has his own area of jurisdiction and there are other areas where limestone deposits occur, which will not interfere with the operational sites of the core investor.
“What is important is for the limestone to be of good quality for cement production. Ebonyi State government is an investor-friendly one and Governor David Umahi, welcomes genuine investors.”