A Delta monarch, King Obukohwo Monday Whiskey, Udurhie I, has implored President Bola Tinubu to restore all rescinded licenses of cement producers.
The Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom, who made the call weekend in Asaba, urges the president to reconsider the withdrawal of six licenses issued to cement factories at a regional level.
He said the reopening of the long-closed Madewell Cement factory would help to resolve the high demand for cement, saying no two, three or four companies can get enough cement to meet cement consumption for Nigerians.
“The best decision the government took then was to ensure that there is a Portland Cement Factory, one in each region that is outside the major players and the licenses that were issued to them was for them to first import cement.
“If we must make the development of shelter one of the basic requirements of human existence, the cement industry is too large for one man or one company to deal with; no individual can do this.’’
The monarch said that the factory’s reopening would help meet Nigeria’s high cement demand and criticized the decision to halt imports, which had left 450 million metric tons of cement stranded in China.
“Madewell as an industry player is being very patriotic. Some of them went to court. They collected a huge amount of money from the federal government. But he didn’t go to court because he believed that a day like this will come. Mr. President as a listening President will listen to this very important cry and order.
“As we speak, 500,000 metric tonne that was approved for Madewell Portland cement. Only 50,000 metric tonne of this came to Nigeria. It was disposed of in less than four or five months. There’s still over 450,000 metric tonne in China,” the monarch pleaded.
The factory, located in Otorho Idjerhe, Delta State had been shut down 12 to 15 years ago due to manipulations by influential figures in the cement sector and that cement industry was too vast for a single entity to monopolize.
The factory, according to him, at inception had provided 2,000 direct jobs and over 10,000 indirect jobs to the Nigerian economy, reminding that 500,000 metric tons of cement had been approved for the factory while only 10 per cent of it got to Nigeria before the factory was shut down.