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Management of Dangote Group over the weekend accused BUA of engaging in illegal mining of limestone deposited in its Mining Lease No. 2541, located in a boundary town of Oguda/Ubo in Okene Kogi State.

Dangote’s Executive Director, Mr. Devakumar Edwin frowned at the media war, instigated by BUA against the Dangote Group, over a matter which is already pending before the Federal High Court, Benin Division

Edwin revealed that: “Dangote Group validly acquired its interest and mining title in the disputed Mining Lease No. 2541 from AICO Ado Ibrahim & Company Ltd sometime in 2014. AICO itself had applied to the Mining Cadastre Office and Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for the said Mining Lease No. 2541 located in a boundary town of Oguda/Ubo in Okene Kogi State in 2007.

The Ministry in exercise of its power under the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 granted and issued to AICO ML. No. 2541 for the renewable period of 25 years effective from 1st February 2008 and to expire on 31 January, 2033.

Thus AICO by virtue of the said grant, became vested with the legal title over ML. No. 2541. In 2014, the Dangote Group approached AICO and indicated interest in acquiring AICO’s stake in ML No. 2541. In 2014, AICO in exercise of its right under the Mining Act, applied to the Ministry for the transfer of its title in the ML No. 2541 to Dangote Group. AICO and Dangote Group equally paid all the transfer and statutory fees demanded by the Ministry.”

He further explained that:” By a letter dated 05 February 2016, the Ministry wrote to the Managing Director of the Dangote Group to convey the approval of the Ministry for the Transfer/Assignment of ML No. 2541 from AICO to Dangote Group with effect from 03 February 2016. Following the successful transfer of ML. NO. 2541 to Dangote Group, the Group became the holder of the Mining Lease No. 2541.”

He said even BUA in its process in Court acknowledged that these illegal mining leases which it claimed were granted in 1997 were temporary mining leases.

Edwin also recalled that the then Minister for Solid Minerals under Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, Dr Oby Ezekwesili sometime in 2006 waded into the dispute and invited the managements of Edo Cement Company Limited and AICO Ado Ibrahim & Company Limited for a meeting and that in the course of the meeting the then Minister again queried the legality of Mining Lease Nos 18912 and 18913 and the power of the Governor of Edo State to grant such mining leases.

“At the end of the Meeting, the Minister declared the Edo Cement’s Mining Leases Nos. 18912 and 18913 illegal and declared the mining site open for interested investors. Given that AICO’s then existing Mining Lease No. 17825 was yet to be renewed even though application for renewal was pending, AICO in 2007 (under the Mining Act, 2007) applied for the fresh Mining Lease No. 2541 and the Ministry granted it in 2008 without any objection from Edo Cement Company” Edwin said AICO, who sold the right to Dangote, continued its mining operations in the Mining Lease No. 2541 undisturbed until BUA Group acquired Edo Cement Company Limited and resuscitated the dispute again.

Edwin further revealed that it was the attempt by BUA to encroach on AICO’s mining title in Mining Lease No. 2541 that prompted AICO to write to the Ministry in 2015 complaining of BUA’s encroachment.

He said: “The Ministry after investigation in the same 2015 by the letter dated 21 January 2015 wrote to the Chairman of BUA Group directing BUA to stop mining within the ML. No. 2541. It was this same letter from the Ministry that prompted BUA to file a Suit at the Federal High Court Benin in 2016.”

Edwin said: “It is therefore appalling that BUA Group in the midst of these overwhelming facts will still want the public to believe that Dangote Group is after its business when in actual fact BUA has been the one mining illegally in Dangote Mining Lease and attacking its officials without any justification… The crocodile tears being shed by BUA in its cry for help and open letter to the President is most laughable and a total distraction from BUA’s continuous illegal activities within Dangote’s ML 2541 aimed at depleting and exhausting the limestone reserves in order to sabotage Dangote Group’s legitimate investment.”

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BIG STORY

President Buhari Arrives In New York Ahead Of UNGA73

Peter Okunoren

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President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived New York ahead of the 73rd Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA73) which officially opened on Sept. 18.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the president accompanied by his wife, Aisha, departed the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Sunday morning and had arrived in New York on Monday.

The theme for this year’s Session is: “Making the United Nations relevant to all People: Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.”

A statement earlier issued in Abuja on Saturday by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the high point of Buhari’s participation would be his address on Tuesday to the General Assembly on the opening day of the General Debate.

According to him, the President’s presentation of Nigeria’s National Statement is expected to reaffirm the nation’s commitment to international peace and security and sustainable socio-economic development.

He said the presentation would also cover the areas of disarmament and denuclearisation, youth and women empowerment, climate change, rule of law and human rights, among others.

(NAN)

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NEWS

Please Don’t Go On Strike, NNPC Begs NUPENG; PENGASSAN

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, has urged oil workers to halt their planned strike over a labour dispute involving Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) management and the staff.

The unions are National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

Baru made the appeal in a statement by NNPC’s Group Public Affairs Manager, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja on Sunday.

The GMD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, said he had directed the management to work with other stakeholders to resolve the issues raised by the leadership of the unions.

He appealed to the unions not to do anything that would disrupt the industrial harmony that had pervaded the sector.

The group managing director expressed fears that the gains of the recent past in the sector if care was not taken, could be frittered away inadvertently.

He, however, expressed optimism that the current dispute would be settled amicably.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the unions had recently called on the National Assembly to intervene in the brewing impasse between CNL and its staff in Nigeria

The unions further urged the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the NNPC and the Department of State Services (DSS) to also intervene.

The disagreements borders on the company’s disclosure that the contracts with all its manpower services providers would expire by the end of October, 2018.

Consequently, NUPENG and PENGASSAN, last week Wednesday, put their members on red alert.

Meanwhile, the NNPC has allayed concerns of petroleum product consumers over possible hiccups in supply in parts of the country due to the workers’ ultimatum.

It gave the assurance that the corporation had adequate storage of petroleum products across the country to take care of the national demand.

(NAN)

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BIG STORY

National Assembly Postpones Resumption, New Date Announced

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The National Assembly will not be resuming from its recess on September 25, 2018, as earlier fixed.

The cancellation of the resumption of the Senate and House of Representatives was contained in a statement by the Clerk to the National Assembly, M.A. Sani-Omolori, on Sunday.

The new resumption date was put as October 9, 2018.

Sani-Omolori said: “This is to inform all Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members that resumption of plenary session earlier scheduled for Tuesday, 25th September has been postponed to Tuesday 9th October due to the activities of the primaries of the political parties.

“All Distinguished Senators and Honourable members are expected to resume the plenary session by 10 am on the 9th of October, please.”

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