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Ultimatum: Benue lawmakers give Dangote Cement 2 months to regularise its safety standards

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Members of the Benue State House of Assembly are not happy with the Dangote Cement Plc operating in the Gboko area of the state for allegedly flouting safety rules.

The lawmakers expressed their displeasure in the company’s lack ‘an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report,’ a prerequisite for the establishment of a company of such magnitude.

The House members also frowned at the Environmental Audit Report commissioned by the company without the involvement of National Environmental Standards Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

A report of an ad-hoc committee on the poor condition of federal roads in the state and other related matters submitted to the House by the Chairman of the Committee, Mrs. Nguan Addingi, and read on the floor of the House, it was established that  despite the fact that Benue Cement Company (BCC), which was bought over by Dangote Cement, was established before the enactment of the EIA Decree No. 86 of 1992 Laws of Nigeria, the company had the mandate to obtain an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), from the federal Ministry of Environment.

The report added that the poor handling of the company’s environmental and safety measures led to several injuries and deaths of many staff whose welfare were not handled satisfactorily.

Addingi said that Dangote Cement has abandoned the BCC Football Club, staff school and hospitals which were operational before the takeover.

Addingi noted that her committee discovered that out of a total of 1,710 kilometers of federal roads in the state, 80 per cent of them were constructed in 1983, with a carrying capacity of a maximum of 30 tonnes per vehicle.

“But currently, loads weighing between 90 and 120 tonnes are being conveyed on the roads,” Addingi noted.

The Speaker of the House, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange, directed Dangote Cement to urgently liaise with NESREA and the Federal Ministry of Environment to carry out all processes leading to obtaining an Environmental Impact Statement within two months.

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