Bags of cement
Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc has paid a total of N14 billion in taxes to the various tiers of government since its privatisation, the Company Secretary, Ms. Uzoma Uja, has said.
A statement from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), said Uja disclosed this while receiving officials of agency who were on a monitoring visit to the enterprise at Ewekoro, Ogun State.
According to her, the sum of N570 million had also been spent in developing its host communities since the privatisation of the cement company in 2001.
The statement signed by BPE’s spokesman, Chukwuma Nwokoh, a copy which was made available to THISDAY yesterday, said the plant, which has an installed capacity of 4.5 tonnes, currently produces at 3.8 tonnes, compared to the pre-privatisation capacity of 1.6 tonnes.
According to her, soon after privatisation, the company embarked on backward integration, which had resulted into job creation with WAPCO now having a workforce of 2,000.
She added that the investor had complied with all the agreement in the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA).
Uja said that the company had continued to enjoy a robust and structured approach that focuses on different areas of development for its immediate environment and the country at large.
These include education, basic infrastructure facilities, youth empowerment, agricultural aid for mechanised farming, health and safety.
She noted that since 2001, WAPCO had embarked on aggressive expansion programme, culminating in the construction of a 90-megawatt power plant in 2011 adding that the firm intended to supply 30-megawatts of electricity to its immediate community of Ewekoro.
She also urged the Federal Government to reverse the waiver on the taxes and duties on WAPCO’s equipment as this had led to the postponement/abandonment of some projects.
Meanwhile, leader of the BPE team, Mrs. Haastrup Adetutu, said though the five-year lock-in period had lapsed, the agency would from time to time visit the company to keep abreast of developments and also to ensure that all the covenants were accomplished.