Pix: Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi(2nd left); Chairman of Ibeto Group, Dr. Cletus Ibeto; Minister of Solid Minerals Development,Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and Minister of State, Solid Minerals Development, Abubakar Bwari, during inspection of the NigerCem Cement Plant in Nkalagu on Tuesday. The Minister of Minerals and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has hailed Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State for constructing a major road leading to the NigerCem Cement Factory, Nkalagu in preparation for the revitalization of the company.
Fayemi made the commendation when he visited the cement factory in company withUmahi and the Minister of State for Minister of Minerals and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari on Tuesday.
The minister, according to a statement on Wednesday by Umahi’s Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya, promised to assist the Ebonyi State Government and Ibeto Group of Companies to revitalize the plant as soon as possible.
He said he was particulary happy that Umahi had shown real commitment to ensuring the revival of NigerCem by constructing a concrete road to the plant.
His words: The governor has shown real determination to see that this company begins production again. I am particularly impressed with the concrete road he has done to ease movement in and out of this plant. We thank the governor and Dr. Cletus Ibeto for coming together with the chiefs here to support this effort to bring NigerCem back to life.”
The minister stated that he was in Ebonyi State to ensure that NiGERCEM was revived in line with the diversification policy of the Federal Government .
Fayemi added, “For the President Mohammadu Buhari,diversification of our revenue base from oil is the number one agenda. I have been hearing of NigerCem , Nkalagu when I was a little boy.There were two cement Companies known all over Nigeria – Ewokoro and Nkalagu. Nkalagu is where we are today,that is why we have to revive it.
“On our part as the Federal Government,we are determined to see that this comes to fruition and we will provide all the support that is necessary for this to happen. I know how passionate Governor Umahi is for the development of the people.We know that he is passionate for development.”
Responding, Umahi told the people that the minister was in Ebonyi for two major reasons: “the smelting plant in Ikwo,first of its kind in Nigeria and to ensure that NigerCem was working.”
He described Ibeto Group as God sent, adding that the company has the capacity to make the cement firm 30 times its original capacity.
Umahi described Fayemi as man that would do magic to assist in the revival of the plant.
He added that he had directed the unsealing of Royal Salt Nigeria Ltd in Eyigba, Abakaliki LGA due to the intervention of Fayemi.
The company, whose activities were inspected by the two ministers and the governor on Monday, was sealed almost two weeks ago by the state government for destruction of farmlands
The governor also assured that the road work which has gone beyond the NigerCem main gate would get to the state’s boundry with Benue.
“We will not stop until we complete it and do the bridges involved,” he told the estactic crowd that welcomed him and the ministers.
Umahi also thanked the people of Igboesa,the host community,for their patience and peaceful deposition.
Dr Ibeto,thanked Governor Umahi and the ministers for the visit,promising that NigerCem would soon commence production.