Tuesday, February 7, 2023

BUA calls Kogi govt’s bluff, says go ahead and revoke the ‘rocky, insecure’ land

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The BUA Group has responded to the threats by Kogi State Assembly to revoke 500-hectare land allocated to the company in 2012, saying they are no longer interested in the land.

Kogi State House of Assembly had on Monday summoned cement giants to explained why the company failed to pay the premium and other charges to the state government despite being issued with a certificate of occupancy.

But in a statement signed by the management of the company, BUA explained that feasibility studies had shown that only about 30% of the entire land mass is suitable for their investment, while the rest (66%) consists rocky, hilly and undulating areas.

The company also said the government had failed to provide required infrastructure to make the area accessible, saying the land could also be reached by water.

READ BELOW FULL BUA RESPONSE TO KOGI ASSEMBLY

We are in receipt of your letter dated September 21, 2022 on the above subject matter. We wish to state for the records that BUA has yet to take possession of, and has never utilized the land due to the following reasons:

Lack of any Infrastructure: Since our invitation by the State in 2012 to invest through that lard, there has been no visible effort by the state and successive governments till date, to address the issue of access (ie, infrastructure, roads) that will enable us utilize the land for its intended purpose.

Currently, the land is only accessible by water and without the required investments and other enabling infrastructure, the venture will not be feasible.

Major Security Challenges: There has been a massive deterioration of security in, and around, the area for the past few years making it practically impossible to start any project there as an investor.

Outcome of Feasibility Studies: We conducted further feasibility studies on the land and found out that only about 30% of the entire land mass is suitable for our investment with the rest (66%) consisting of rocky, hilly and undulating areas which is not suitable for its intended purpose.

Finally, due to the reasons enumerated above, and the fallout associated with it, we hereby wish to indicate through this letter, and inform you that we are no longer interested in continuing with our proposed investment.

We wish to however state unequivocally that had we decided to proceed with the proposed project, BUA would have been happy to pay all dues and necessary compensation to the state and other stakeholders in fine with our obligations.

This is because as a responsible organization, we believe in the principles of equity, sustainable business practices, and fairness.

This has been the hallmark of our operations and engagements with communities and governments, everywhere we operate. Unfortunately. since the land cannot be used for its intended purpose and based on the foregoing, the Government of Kogi State may go ahead to revoke the land if it so wishes.

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