From Nahum Sule, Jalingo
A group from the Mambilla Plateau in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State have expressed worry over Governor Darius Ishaku’s decision and approval to sell the Mambilla Beverages, producers of the Green Highland Tea.
Coming under the aegis of Kamkam Progressive Forum, the Group made their positions known yesterday through a Press Statement signed by Abdulrazaq K. Manuhi and Nuhu S. Tiki and issued to Journalists in Jalingo the State capital.
According to the Statement, the Taraba State Government does not hold shares in the Company it wants to sell.
Citing the Investment and Securities Act 2007, Companies and Allied Matter Act (CAMA), the Taraba State Government, the Statement noted, “has no shares in Mambila Beverages (Nig) Limited and cannot sell shares belonging to unconsenting individuals who own the company.”
The aggrieved group further urged the State Government to discard its plans and decisions of selling out the Company by “withdrawing the Advert and to institute an investigation, first regarding the ownership of the company, or in the alternative, publish the details of ownership immediately.”
The Group also disclosed that the owners of the Company at its incorporation, “has not changed” adding, “these individuals have not transferred their interests in the Bank to the Taraba State Government or to any other person”.
They suggested that the State Lawmakers would do better by “unraveling the circumstances surrounding the ownership and purported sale of Nigerian Beverages Production Co Ltd factory in the past, incorporation of Mambilla Beverages (Nigeria) Ltd, the plight of the workers who served since the NBPC days, and the current desperation by the Governor to convert the Company.”
Apart from urging the members to “investigate and inform Tarabans whether the current realities of the Government complies with the exact relevant laws governing the sale of the Company” the members, the the group stressed, “must know that they owe the people their mandate as House Members and must face the people with their deeds.”
It was observed that the Taraba State Government, through the Taraba Investment and Properties Limited (TRIP) recently advertised for Bids for the privatization of the Tea Company, the action which the Group decried.
The group said: “the owners of the Company at its incorporation, “has not changed” adding that “these individuals have not transferred their interest in the bank to the Taraba State Government or to any other person.
When contacted for comment, the Managing Director (MD), Taraba Investment and Properties (TRIP), Ezekiel Illiya, said plans to organize a Town Hall meeting where Tarabans will be allowed to air their views on the sale of the Company, is in the pipeline.
He also denied the allegations that the State Government has no share in the company, stating that the company which was formally liquified was bought over by the State Government.
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