The season of government agencies clasghing with companies appears not to be over as the BUA Cement company is currently engaged in a war of words with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
The Ministry’s stand
The ministry has accused BUA of illegally mining marble and limestone in a mining site belonging to the Dangote Group. BUA was also accused of flouting a stop mining order issued in 2015by the permanent secretary of the ministry. BUA also allegedly used armed policemen and security agents to prevent the enforcement of the order in October this year.
BUA’s side of the story
BUA has however denied any form of wrong doing. In a statement issued by a representative, BUA cement stated that it had restricted its mining operations to sites allocated to it in Obu Okpella, Edo state.
“For the avoidance of doubt, BUA, as a law abiding entity, restricts its Obu Cement operations to mining areas covered by ML18912 and ML18913, and located in Obu Okpella, Etsako LG, Edo State. We do not have any mining activities, which are specifically in Okene, Kogi State as the ministry insinuated and as stated in the ML2541 lease given by the ministry to a competitor.
The company had also written to the Presidency alleging that the Minister was obstructing the company’s activities.
Implications of the faceoff
The company would most likely have to shut down production, thus resulting in a loss of revenue. This is especially critica, since the subside of rains means construction work would have resumed across the country.
BUA cement is a member of the BUA Group founded by Abdulsamad Rabiu. The company was originally known as Edo Cement when it was incorporated by the Edo State government and several indigenous investors. The BUA Group bought a majority stake in the company when it was privatized by the Federal Government in 2008.