By Emmanuel Amadi, Abakaliki
The Ebonyi State Government has stated that the NIGERCEM Company located in Nkalagu will soon begin production.
According to the government, the news followed the signing of deed of understanding/terms of settlement between NIGERCEM andÂ Â representatives of the four host communities, Nkalagu, Nkalaha, Umuhuali, Amaezu and the government.
A statement from the state government reads in part, â€œWith the signing of the pact in AbakalikiÂ on Friday, the legal battle that had in the past affected the reopening of the once foremost indigenous cement production firm has been put to rest.
â€œThe parties resolved that papers be filed in court on Monday so that the suit filed by Eastern BulkCem, a subsidiary of Ibeto GroupÂ Â Â could be withdrawn.
The immediate past administration, led by Martin Elechi, had consistently closed their door for an out of court settlement, against Dr.Cletus Ibeto,who had tried toÂ Â Â revampÂ Â the cement factory which was popularly known as Nkalagu Cement Factory.
In January 2015 for in stance, the Elechi administration warned Ibeto Cement Company againstÂ Â what it calledÂ Â illegal entry into the premises of NigerCemÂ Â premises, saying its ownershipÂ Â was a subject of dispute in the courts.
An elated Governor David Umahi;Â Â Ibeto and the SSAÂ Â the Governor on Cement Production, Hon.Â SundayÂ Â Ugwuocha, described the signing of the MoU as milestone towards the revitalisation of the company.
Umahi who said he had in line with the popular demand of the host communities promised to allow Ibeto revamp the firm noted that the journey to its realisation was not an easy one.
He said, “When we were campaigning under divine mandate platform, the only request that the communitiesÂ Â made was that IbetoÂ Â should be allowed to come and revamp NIGERCEM and we did promiseÂ Â them thatÂ Â that was going to be done.”
Engr. Umahi, who thanked the Cement Production Implementation Committee set up by his administration,for doing a good job ,assured Ebonyi people that their 10% equityÂ Â ownership of NIGERCEM was still intact.