Who Sold 30m Of Benue State Shares In Dangote Cement ?

There is considerable unease in Benue State over the sale of Dangote Cement shares held in trust for the indigenes by the Benue Investment and Property Company Limited.
The sell-off, which is taking place on the floor of the Nigerian  Stock Exchange, has erased about 30 million shares, valued at over N7 billion off the original over 90 million shares, which serves as portfolio investment for the state and the parastatals.
Sources, however, said that the government plans to sell all the shares, before the elections setting a target of N20 billion from the exercise. If carried through, Benue State would have lost all the shares of its portfolio  investment in the cement manufacturing conglomerate.
Investigation revealed that many Benue indigenes are taken aback by the government’s decision which they say is to deprive the people of their priced investment in Dangote Cement.
Some top leaders of the Action for Progressive Change, APC, queried the motive behind the sale and called on the  state government to urgently clear the air over the development to avoid any untoward reaction from the people.
It was gathered that a considerable number of persons questioned the rational by the state government to deprive its people of what they termed, “this valuable investment,” at a time the company is doing well in the capital market.
They feared that if no action is taken to prevent the wholesale sale of the shares, the state would be the loser, since the proceeds so far realized have not been invested in any profitable venture, nor disclosed to the State House of Assembly for  appropriation as required by law.
They cited the case of what transpired in Delta State where its shares in Airtel were surreptitiously disposed and the proceeds invested as private equity in the defunct Oceanic Bank.
“We suspect the state government is building a war chest for the 2015 elections by the surreptitious manner the share are being sold. Otherwise, what stops it from informing the citizens of the state about it?
“Did the government obtain the consent of the State House of Assembly  before selling the shares?
Where is the money realized so far from the transaction kept?  These and other pertinent  questions will be asked by us , “an APC chieftain from the state said.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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