FG Told to Caution Rampaging Kogi Youths Not to Drive Investors Out of Country

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The management of  BN Ceramic Nig Ltd has called on the federal government to immediately halt the activities of some disgruntled youths who came into Kogi State and are bent on chasing foreign investors out of Kogi state and the country at large.

The Ajaokuta-based Chinese ceramic company which said it has created over 1,000 jobs for youths and other categories of Nigerians in the last five years expressed worry why a non governmental youth organisation could just invade a legally registered company, threatening the management and calling on the federal government to shut down the company after collecting ransom from the management.

Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday, the human resources manager of the company, Mr Saliu Mohammed who said the organisation, under the auspices of Africa United Youths Development Network, after the invasion later ran to the media to blackmail the company in order to cover up their malicious misdeeds.

He said none of the allegations raised by the youth organisation was true as it was merely a decoy to paint the company black before the general public and the federal government, thereby chase the investors out of the country.

On the allegation that the company does not assist the host community, he brought out several files which contained documents to show newsmen how the company had variously assisted the four host communities – Ajaokuta, Oguro, Ofunene and Geregu communities.

According to him, since 2015 when the company commenced production, it has renovated the moribund Ajaokuta native primary school at the cost of ₦2.3 million, given out over ₦3 million as bursary/scholarship to some undergraduate and postgraduate students of Ajaokuta origin, a programme that runs annually, but could not run last year because of covid-19 pandemic.

The human resources manager also disclosed that the company has a  robust package for the aged (octogenarians) in the communities, where some of them are being paid ₦20,000 and ₦10,000 respectively depending on the age and state of health of recipients while the company has also taken the responsibility to construct a new police post which will cost over ₦ 10 million in this fiscal year.

Aside from the fact that over eighty percent of its workforce is sourced from the host communities, Mohamed said the company distributed over ₦10 million Naira worth of Covid-19 palliative including soaps for washing hands, sanitizers and food stuff to the state government and local communities within Ajaokuta LGA.

He added that the renovation of the Ajaokuta Science secondary school will commence by second quarter of this year.

On the welfare of staff, he said contrary to insinuation that some workers received as low as ₦18, 000, he said no worker received less than ₦48,500  a month, as minimum salary,  while some received up to ₦70,000 and above as salary, even as he said the company uses the latest equipment that can be obtained in any modern ceramics industry.

While showing some letters of appreciations written by the traditional ruler, the Onu Ajaokuta, Community Youths Forum and the students’ body to newsmen, he denied the allegations of sexual harassment against some female workers and said “it is arrant nonsense”.

The human resources manager who expressed surprise that a youth organisation will  suddenly turned itself to a government regulatory agency, asked “when has courtesy call by them which we have not responded to turned to an invasion?”

He called on the minister for labour and productivity to  personally pay a visit to the company to verify the truth or otherwise of the spurious allegations against the company.

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