By Chukwuemeka Opara
The Ibeto Group and Sinomas Chinese Group of Companies have concluded plans to establish two high-capacity cement factories in Nkalagu and Effium communities in Ebonyi State.
Chief Cletus Ibeto, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ibeto group of companies disclosed this on Friday in Abakaliki when he led a delegation of both groups on a courtesy call on Gov. David Umahi.
Ibeto who is the lead partner of the projects, remarked that the first factory will be situated beside the moribund Nigerian Cement Company (NIGERCEM) Nkalagu with a production capacity of 9, 000 metric tons of cement per day.
“We are not going to remove anything from the old plant but set up the new one beside the moribund factory.
“Nothing is going to be removed in the old plant and we would ensure that it would be completed on record-time.
“We would also commence another plant in Effium community but due to less availability of limestone deposit in the area, the factory would produce 3, 000 metric tons of cement per day,” he said.
The business mogul remarked that the team would be steady at the project sites as preliminary works such designing would commence immediately.
“We would ensure that all agreement reached during the contract signing in 2015 are met as the factories would ensure rapid economic development of the areas and the state.
“I congratulate the state governor for his infrastructural strides and pray that he assumes higher positions of authority in the country on completing his second tenure in 2023,” he said.
Mr Chen Gong, Vice President of Sinoma Construction Company sought the collaboration of the people to achieve the objective which he described as ‘Herculean’.
“We pledge to respect the laws and cultures of the areas the factories would be sited and ensure that the projects becomes monumental blessing to the people,” he said.
Gov. Umahi in his response thanked the team for the visit, noting that the state government would provide adequate security for them to actualise the objectives.
“We would remain grateful to you for assisting us take-off as a government as you constantly advised me to embark on massive infrastructural development and empower the people.
“Some people who felt that you are not coming back to the state, turned your house into a Mecca, urging you to support a change of government but you stood for the truth.
“I am happy that the same people are hearing us presently as you also challenged the preceding government in the state for dethroning the traditional rulers of Nkalagu,” he said.
He congratulated Ibeto for the listing of his companies at the American stock exchange noting that he is man that God had endowed with abundant blessing.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NIGERCEM cement company Nkalagu became moribund in 2002 after the governments of the five south east states handed it over to the Eastern Bulkcem Company.
The company failed to revitalise it with the factory’s equipment vandalised and depreciating greatly with the workers most of whom had died, were owed entitlements since then.