Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
A team of foreign investors from the United States of America Monday promised that they would support both the core investor and Chief Executive Officer of Ibeto Nigeria Limited, Chief Cletus Ibeto, and the Ebonyi State Government to ensure the revitalisation of the moribund premier cement company, NIGERCEM, located in Nkalagu, Ishielu Local Government Area of the state.
The team in collaboration with Ibeto Nigeria Limited Monday embarked on an assessment visit to the premises as part of the rigorous process of actualising the listing of Ibeto in the US.
Addressing a cross section of stakeholders who thronged the company premises comprising National and state Assembly members, state Executive Council members, traditional rulers, opinion leaders, community leaders, youth organisations, among others, the Chief Executive of Ibeto Nigeria Limited, Ibeto, said the delegation were on self-assessment tour of the company.
Ibeto said prior to the visit that another team of Chinese contractors were in the state three weeks ago to finalise arrangements on the revitalisation of the cement factory.
He said: “I am standing before you with a team of American financiers who are here on an assessment visit to the cement company, they are here to see for themselves what is here at NIGERCEM Cement Company.
“The team will help in realisation of the dream of Ibeto Group together with the Ebonyi State Government in actualizing the revitalization of the company.”
He said very soon, production work would commence in the company with the production of 6,000 metric tonnes of cement per day.
He said the Chinese team, which earlier visited the state would work on design and ensure that the 2015 Contract Agreement signed by Ibeto Group Limited and the host community Nkalagu is executed to the letter.
The chief executive reiterated that at the end of the assessment visit by the foreign financiers, every modality on the revitalisation of the company would take effect.
The leader of the American foreign investors, Mrs. Amanda Wester, said the team would do everything possible to support both the core investor, Ibeto Nigeria Limited, and the Ebonyi State Government to ensure the revitalisation of the company.
Governor David Umahi commended the foreign investors and the company for their commitment in ensuring that the company commences production.
He said: “We extol Ibeto Nigeria Limited the core investor in NIGERCEM in their commitment to establish a new 6,000 tonnes per day dry process cement plant, 45 megawatt capacity power plant in this first phase of the project at Nkalagu.
“I wish to welcome specially our core investors and Dream team from the US (Financiers) to Ebonyi State” in their determination to revive Nkalagu cement and commence production in no distant time.”
The governor noted that the state government had enacted a law called Investors Protection Act, that would ensure that the government offers an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) that insulates the investor from government interference and any change of administration.