ByÂ Â Dennis Agbo
ABAKALIKIâ€”EBONYI State Government has appropriated N500million in the 2010 budget for a proposed new cement factory owned by the state government, independent of any private investment.
It will be recalled that the core investor in Nigeria Cement Company Plc, NIGERCEM, Nkalagu, the Eastern Bulkcem Nigeria Limited, producers of Eagle cement in Port Harcourt had dragged the Ebonyi State Government before an Enugu High Court, challenging the panel of enquiry set up by the Ebonyi Government to look into the activities of Nigercem from 2002,Â when Bulkcem took over the factory.
Governor Martin Elechi had, however, in his 2010 budget presentation to the state House of Assembly,Â foreclosed hope of revamping Nigercem, rather he opted for a new government ownedÂ cement factory in the state, which is rich in limestone, an essential raw material for cement production.
The stateâ€™s Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Timothy Odah in the 2010 budget breakdown, announced to newsmen that the state government had mapped out N500m for the commencement of the factory, though he failed to disclose where it would be sited.
He, however, added that this yearâ€™s budget for the cement factory was just for the take-off of the project.