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The Scramble for Mfamosing: How Lafarge’s illegal Mining, Corruption Is Causing Untold Hardship To Community- Part 2

The Scramble for Mfamosing: How Lafarge’s illegal Mining, Corruption Is Causing Untold Hardship To Community- Part 2

By Ekemini Simon

  In Mfamosing, Akamkpa, Cross River State, thousands of people are living in poverty here. But the standard of living could be much higher. This is a community rich in natural resources; a large reserve of limestone has been discovered here. But some of this wealth has been lost to corruption and government regulatory failure. Part of the millions of dollars made from the limestone extraction have been paid to the government. It should also be used to better lives in Mfamosing. They should profit from their rich natural resources. What is happening is the community being robbed. In part 2 of this report, TheMail investigates a deal that has cost the people of Mfamosing millions of dollars and retrogression. It involves both the State, Federal Government and Lafarge Africa, a subsidiary of Holcim Limited, a major multinational limestone company. 

Insight into Mfamosing’s Limestone Extraction by Lafarge

 Of all the 41 solid minerals extracted in Nigeria, limestone tops the chart in both the quantity extracted and revenue it generates. Lafarge Africa, a subsidiary of a large global player in the cement business, Holcim Limited, Switzerland is among top players in the industry in Nigeria. The company ranks second to Dangote Cement in limestone mining.  

 In three years alone (2017 through 2019), Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI)- Solid Minerals report shows that Lafarge Africa PLC extracted 19.31 million tonnes of limestone in Nigeria. Lafarge has plants in Ewekoro in Ogun, Ashaka in Gombe and Mfamosing in Cross River State. The Company on its official website notes that the Mfamosing plant has the highest production capacity in the country. 

 Interestingly, Mineral Production Statistics Report (2019 -2020) published by the National Bureau of Statistics in December 2021 offers clearer insight into the tonnes of limestone that is extracted in Mfamosing. In Cross River State, Limestone is extracted mainly in Mfamosing. According to the report, 1.78 million tonnes of limestone was extracted in 2019 while 6.01 million tonnes was extracted in 2020. These extractions come with financial gains to the government. 

Lafarge’s Payments to Government from Mfamosing Mining Asset

TheMail Newspaper in a freedom of information request to Lafarge Africa had asked for information on the company’s payments to government from extractions in Mfamosing. Although this request was acknowledged by the company, it was not acceded to throughout the duration of this investigation.

However, further findings into the parent company, Holcim Report on payments to Government (mandatory disclosure report)  revealed that Lafarge’s extractions of limestone in Mfamosing have generated millions of naira to the coffers of the government. This is basically in the form of royalties and taxes. Royalties are paid to the federal Ministry of Mines while taxes are paid to Federal Inland Revenue service.

The report shows that between 2015 through 2020, Lafarge Africa made  payment of royalties to government amounting to N676.60 million from Mfamosing Mining Asset. On taxes, Lafarge’s payments are not disaggregated. 

The breakdown shows that in 2020, royalty payment for Mfamosing was $558,000 (N212.04 million) exchanged at N380/$ Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official rate. Also, $406,000 ( N154.3 million) was paid as taxes for Lafarge’s three mining assets in the country.  

In 2019, royalty payment was $483,000 (N173.91 million) exchanged at N360/$ CBN official rate. This year, NEITI report notes that Lafarge Africa paid a total of N320.1m to the federal government as royalties for it’s operations in the country. The N173.91 million paid for Mfamosing is 54.3 percent of the total royalty payment of Lafarge for the year. Furthermore, NEITI report adds that Lafarge paid $1.25 million (N450 Million) taxes for all its mining assets in Nigeria.

In 2018, $268,000 (N82.03 million) was paid when exchanged at N306/$ CBN official rate. This year N140.7 million was the amount Lafarge paid for her entire limestone mining in the country. The payment on Mfamosing alone is 58.3 percent of the company’s total royalty payment. In addition, Holcim Mandatory Disclosure Report shows that this year, the company paid as taxes to Federal Inland Revenue service for both Ewekoro and Mfamosing $384,000 (N117.5 million).

The highlighted instances of high percentage of Lafarge payment on royalty for Mfamosing Asset in comparison to the company’s total assets in Nigeria points to the significance of Mfamosing to the mining operations of Lafarge in Nigeria.

 Interestingly,  when the company was operating through United Cement Company (UNICEM) PLC as her subsidiary, UNICEM report shows that N69.40 million was paid as royalty in 2017, N71.64 million was remitted to government as royalty in 2016 while N67.58 million was paid in 2015. UNICEM had its operation only in Mfamosing. These three years, UNICEM stood third on the top ladder of solid mineral extractive sector.

When TheMail cross-checked the payment claims by Lafarge on, an open portal for oil, gas and mining payments across the globe, there was no significant difference in the payment claims. 

Royalties Shared to Cross River State from Mining

 Section 162 (2) of the constitution provides for the distribution of not less than 13 percent of revenue accruing to the federation account directly from any natural resources on the principle of derivation to the region where the minerals are mined. 

According to the NEITI report of 2016, the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), distributed N9.92 billion solid mineral revenue generated from 2007 to 2014 in July 2016. Although the report notes that Cross River State received N135.46 million of 13 percent derivation from Solid Minerals, checks into data obtained from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) report, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, shows that the actual payment to Cross River State was N196.63 million. Benue State received the N135.46 million erroneously recorded by NEITI.

The report of 2017 was not detailed to include what states received as their share of 13 percent derivation.  In 2018,  NEITI report notes that out of N1.131bn shared on 13 percent derivation for solid minerals across States, Cross River State received N64.56 million. The report says this was distributed in October 2019. However, tracing the revenue to what actually went to Cross River State shows some discrepancies. According to data obtained from the Federation Account Allocation Committee report, published by the National Bureau of Statistics, Cross River State received N118.2 million Solid Minerals Revenue.

  In 2019, according to the NEITI report, a total of N3.2bn inclusive of 13 percent derivation was distributed among the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in May 2020. The report say Cross River State received  N114.3million. NEITI’s report on what was distributed to Cross River State for 2019 was in sync with the FAAC report. 

 Millions Generated by Cross River State Government

 A visit to the Cross River State Ministry of Solid Minerals suggests that the State benefits in no little measure from mining operations of Lafarge. Lafarge is the only extractive company captured in the Ministry’s signpost.  

TheMail Newspaper through a freedom of information request sought information from the Cross River State Internal Revenue Service (CRIRS) on the details and amount of taxes paid by Lafarge Africa to the State government. The request and reminder that followed was not acceded to despite the fact that the service acknowledged receipt of the letters.

 However, a Senior Civil Servant from the CRIRS told TheMail in confidence that 80 percent of the revenue generated by the State Ministry of Environment and 85 percent generated by the ministry of solid minerals is from Lafarge Africa. The source also added that about 20 percent of Pay as you Earn tax (PAYE) in the State also stems from the company.

 Checks into the financial statements of the Cross River State Government between 2019 and 2021 reveals that the State Ministry of Solid Minerals generated N1.06 million as fees while the Ministry of Environment generated N14.34 million during the three fiscal years. Further checks give credence to the revelation from our source. In the 2021 budget implementation report which was more elaborate on the actual subhead of revenue, N1.65m was generated through “environmental degradation from quarry activities”. This year, the Ministry of Environment generated N1.87 million. 88.2 percent of the revenue was from degradation at quarry sites. What is more, NEITI report of 2015 states that UNICEM in 2015 paid N404.36 million directly to the State.

 Lost Treasures for Mfamosing 

 Mfamosing community which bears the brunt of extraction and depleted resources has not benefited from the multimillionaire either paid to the coffers of the State from 13 percent derivation of limestone extracted in their backyard or from the funds the State generates from their community through fines and taxes from Lafarge Africa.

 They are in a situation most development experts like to call the resource curse. The locality lacks major basic amenities such as electricity, pipe-borne water, and healthcare centres. Homes in Mfamosing are mostly made of mud.

” The last time we had electricity was far back in early 2019. You can only imagine life without electricity. As for healthcare centres, anytime someone gets sick, we go to another village because we don’t have any here,” says Chief Joshua Ntuen, community head of Abimfam, the epicenter of Lafarge mining operations. 

The community proffers solution to the contentious utilisation of the 13 percent derivation revenue in their community.   “Just as it is done in some oil producing states of the Niger Delta, there is urgent need for the state government to establish Cross River State Solid Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission thus give special attention to our plight and enhance effective utilisation of the 13 percent derivation revenue”, says, a youth leader, Raphael Effiong.

Yet, even as it is disputable that Cross River State government has allowed the 13 percent derivation fund paid to the State to trickle down to the community that bears the mining brunt, the Nigerian mining law mandates the extractive company to provide for the social welfare of the community through Community Development Agreement. But, the existence and operation of this very important agreement is in doubt.  

Lafarge’s Questionable CDA with Mfamosing

 When Lafarge commenced mining operations in Mfamosing, the people of the community had high expectations. They thought they would get the best of life as a reward from the mining company for allowing millions of tonnes of limestones to be extracted from their backyard year in year out. 

” We had expected that our children would get scholarships, we would have quality healthcare service among other social amenities, and our children would be trained to work with Lafarge. But that has not been happening”, says Mfam Clement Emayip, Village Head of Mfamosing and Paramount Ruler of Akamkpa.

  The wishes of the Traditional Ruler are not utopian. Its provisions are part of the legal demands to mine anywhere in Nigeria. Section 116 of the Mining Act (2007) states: 
“Subject to the provisions of this section, the Holder of a Mining Lease, SmaIl Scale Mining Lease or Quarry Lease shall prior to the commencement of any development activity within the lease area, conclude with the host community where the operations are to be conducted, an agreement referred to as a Community Development Agreement or other such agreement that will; ensure the transfer of social and economic benefits to the community.”  

According to NMMA 2007, every mineral title holder is required to negotiate a contract in the form of a Community Development Agreement (CDA) that ensures the flow of economic and social benefits to the local community. A Community Development Agreement (CDA) contains undertakings with respect to the social and economic contributions that the project would make to the sustainability of such community; it as well addresses all of some of the issues relevant to the development of the host community which includes educational scholarship, apprenticeship, technical training and employment opportunities, health or other community services, roads, water and power among others.

 The CDA is between the title holder and the host community, with the ministry having a copy for reference and monitoring purposes.

Regarding the CDA, TheMail Newspaper wrote a Freedom of Information request to the Plant Manager of Lafarge in Mfamosing, Idara Uyok and the Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge in Nigeria, Khaled El-Dokani in December 2021 and January 2022 to seek information and obtain a copy of the CDA. The same request was made to the federal ministry of Mines and Steel Development and Cross River State Ministry of Solid Minerals. This was followed with a reminder. Although they all acknowledged receipt of the request, they did not respond thus raising suspicion on the availability of the document. 

When members of the Abimfam community council were contacted, they said Community Development Agreement does not exist between the community and the company.
Community members revealed that the only document that exists between them and Lafarge Africa is an imposed document tagged Deed of Lease and entered in 2003, four year before the NMMA, 2007 came into operation.

TheMail Newspaper which assessed the Deed of Lease noticed that it is dated September 18, 2003. Signatories to the deed from the community are the Village Head of Abiati, Ntufam Pius Ekpe Itita, Village Head of Mfamosing, Ntufam Clement Emayip, and Ntufam Augustine Ekpe and Hon. Augustine Etim. The Chief Accountant of UNICEM, A.B. Umo and Confidential Secretary, Bernedette Onikoyi were signatories for the company.

Interestingly, Our newspaper also obtained the Certificate of Consent signed by the Cross River State Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Arc. Bassey Ndem on June 30, 2004. 

Analysis of the document turned out few agreements. The company said it will give preference to suitably qualified members of the community in its employ, train them, ensure contracts and subcontracts are awarded to qualified members of the community, pay compensation commensurate with the crops destroyed, renew the lease after five years and pay to the community as lease rent N2 million per annum.

Although members of the community claim the community members were not involved when the agreement was drafted and that their leaders were deceived into signing the agreement,  they noted that the company has over the years failed to keep to the provisions of the agreement.

The community members narrate that after 12 years of not having social or economic gains from Lafarge, they decided on September 28, 2015  to write to Lafarge notifying them of their withdrawal from the “flawed” agreement. ” Even after our letter, Lafarge has neither responded or make amends to keep to even the minutest part of the flawed agreement they imposed on us”, says the secretary of Abiati community, Ewa Asuquo.

Section 116 (5) of the Mining Act stipulates that a CDA is subject to renewal every five years. Although Lafarge’s agreement is tagged “Deed of Lease” and does not contain all the provisions designed for in a Community Development Agreement as provided for in the Nigerian Mineral Mining Act 2007, findings reveal that the company has not renewed the Deed of Lease since it was entered into 18 years ago.

 Be that as it may,  NEITI reports note Lafarge claims on social expenditures across its host communities in Nigeria. These spending are usually made based on Community Development Agreement or Corporate Social Responsibilities. In what the report tags as ” Unilateral Disclosure” by solid minerals company, in 2015, through Lafarge’s subsidiary, United Cement Company that operated only in Mfamosing, the company reports that it spent N134 million on social expenditure.  In 2016, it was N162.55 million,  and N327.56 million in 2017. In 2018, according to NEITI’s report, Lafarge was not among the 21 solid mineral mining companies who reported to have spent a total of N538.8million on social expenditures. Yet, Lafarge in its financial report noted that it spent N868.9 million thus generating controversies whether the company actually carried out community development project in the said year. About the same inconsistencies were observed in 2019. Although NEITI report notes that Lafarge reported to NEITI that it carried out 72 projects across its host communities in Nigeria at the cost of N613.6 million, Lafarge in their 2019 financial statement claimed it spent N992.7 million.

In 2020, Lafarge’s financial statement, reports that the company spent N1.26 billion on diverse social and investment programmes in her communities in Nigeria.  N500 million was spent on community development projects across Nigeria (Covid-19 donation), N430 million on Inclusive projects (roads), N329.9 million on corporate social responsibility intervention while N1.1 million was spent on donations  and sponsorship. In 2021, the company claimed to have spent N2.39 billion on its social investment programmes.N1.79 billion was reported to be spent Inclusive projects (roads), N595.9 million on corporate social responsibility intervention while N8.19bn was said to be spent on donations  and sponsorship. Nothing was spent on community development projects. 

Freedom of information request by TheMail Newspaper to both Lafarge’s Plant Manager at Mfamosing, Idara Uyok and Country Chief Executive Officer, Khaled El-Dokani had sought information on the social spending of the company in Mfamosing. The request specifically demanded to know the identity of the projects, location and cost of the projects. This request was not acceded to despite reminders and acknowledgment of receipt.

 Lafarge’s inconsistent social spending reports and the decline to give insight to the FOI request raise more questions on the state of Community Development Agreement in Mfamosing which makes spending on this provision mandatory.   

Social expenditures are often the only real benefits for resource-rich communities, but members of Mfamosing community say they do not have in their community one tenth of the spending reported to be made by Lafarge. 

A community leader, Okon Akpan said for about two decades of Lafarge operation in Mfamosing, the only social projects the company has embarked upon is provision of boreholes, renovation of one healthcare centre, renovation of a primary school, renovation of a town hall and the renovation of the Paramount Ruler abode.

The community says there is no scholarship programme by Lafarge rather what they have is a recent financial assistance of N100,000 to four students in the community.  Community members said this was accompanied by tailoring apprenticeship programme to 18 community members.

 Yet, a community stakeholder, Mr. Francis Bassey insists that Lafarge is insincere in its expenditure claims. ” With what they have claimed to spend, why can’t Lafarge mention the particular community and the amount they spent in that community?” Bassey queried.

This was corroborated by a youth leader in the community, Raphael Effiong who challenged Lafarge to sit with the community in a town hall and come clean on its acclaimed expenditures by pointing to the projects, the cost amount and the contractors awarded the projects.

More Concerns on employment, Livelihood

 Besides social concerns for the community, the people of Mfamosing alleged that Lafarge has shattered their livelihood even as they are not part of Lafarge workforce. The community note that within the six host communities, Lafarge could only employ one staff. 

“Even as we speak now, we don’t have even one staff in the company from Abiati which I hail from. Among all the host communities, It is only one man called Linus from Mfamosing that is a staff . A few of us working there are serving on a contract basis and on menial jobs.” Says Raphael Effiong. Effiong’s claim is corroborated by the Paramount Ruler of Akamkpa, Mfam Clement Emayip.

Yet, even though members of the community are not employed, artisanal mining would have sustained them. According to Mfamosing people, before Lafarge berthed their land, they had livelihood in small-scale mining of limestone but this was not to continue when they made an attempt to get a working license to continue with their level of operation. According to them, the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development denied them the opportunity, saying that Lafarge owns the entire mining sites at Mfamosing.

 ” Our people who used to carry out small-scale mining are no longer allowed to mine. Lafarge has taken over the entire place. You can imagine looking for a new means of livelihood at old age. We have gained nothing from Lafarge. They should go to where they came from before they totally ruin us to the ground,” says the Paramount Ruler.

 When TheMail Newspaper asked to know through FOI request the number of Lafarge staff who are Mfamosing indigenes and the mining area approved for Lafarge, the company did not respond. Employment opportunities for the host communities are among issues addressed by the Community Development Agreement.  

  Host Community in the Dark over mining Agreements and Quantum of Extraction 

 The people of Mfamosing say they have no access to contract documents signed between government and the company which would help them understand the boundaries of Lafarge operations, their rights and privileges, and obligations to government and Lafarge. 

They equally note that they are not aware of the actual quantity of mineral resources extracted in their domain and the kind of mineral resources Lafarge has approval to mine. Abimfam community secretary notes ” According to the news we heard from Lafarge, it was 200 trucks a day and each truck carries 800 bags of cement. But since we don’t have community members working there, we can’t verify their claims.”

Yet, community members report that the number of trucks they see move out from the company per day exceeds Lafarge’s claims to them. TheMail Newspaper in its FOI request to the company had applied for information on the tonnes of limestone extracted and quantity of cement produced by the company between 2010 and 2020. This was not responded to. 

What is more, besides Mfamosing being in the dark about the true volume of limestone extracted beneath their land, they are not also aware if Lafarge was recently granted license to add iron ore mining to the portfolio of the minerals extracted in their territory. Mfamosing which is also rich in large reserves of iron ore have witnessed heavy trucks and machines from Lafarge facility carry out surface mining of the iron ore.

However, when our reporter visited the community in December 2021, he could not ascertain the actual company mining the Iron ore. However, our reporter traced the vehicles with the ore to Lafarge’s facility.

In the 2003 Deed of Lease between Lafarge and the community, the company agreed to mine only limestone. In an FOI request to Lafarge and Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, TheMail Newspaper had sought to know the solid minerals covered by Lafarge’s mining lease in Mfamosing. This was not responded to despite acknowledgement. Yet, checks into the mineral production statistics report of 2019 and 2020 as published by National Bureau of Statistics, records iron ore among the minerals mined in Cross River State. In 2019, 43,380 tonnes were recorded as being extracted. However, no amount of tonne was reported in 2020 although the people of Mfamosing reported that the extraction of this mineral went on in 2020. The reported tonnes in 2019 suggest that the extraction of this mineral may have gotten the approval of the government.   

  Lafarge’s Multi Billion Naira Profit in Business

While Mfamosing community continues to live out their lives in abject poverty despite laying the golden eggs for Lafarge and government, the cement giant has been on a rampaging march to generate billions of naira through Mfamosing’s resources.

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For instance, the 2021 audited financial statement of Lafarge Africa shows that last year, the company made the highest profit in a decade. The statement notes that in 2021, the company’s revenue rose to N291.1 billion from N230.6 billion in 2020. Interestingly, Lafarge’s profit after tax rose to N51 billion which is 60.5 percent surge of the N30.84 billion made in 2020.The audited report states that the issued and fully paid-up share capital for substantial shareholders as at December 31, 2021 was 16,107,795, 721 ordinary shares of 50k each.

Unsurprisingly, Lafarge’s 63 years of doing business in Nigeria has earned her multi billion naira net worth. According to the 2021 Annual Report of the parent company, Holcim, the net worth of Lafarge Africa PLC in Nigeria as of December 31,2021 is N385.78 billion. 

The People Behind Lafarge Africa 

While members of Mfamosing community suffer from the hazards of limestone extraction in their community even as they complain of being short-changed socially and economically from Lafarge mining operations, there are people who enjoy dividends of the extractive operations in Mfamosing and they are far off the radar of the perils. These persons are the beneficial owners, minor shareholders and directors of Lafarge Africa PLC. 

Checks into Lafarge Africa PLC 2021 audited financial statements and 2020 annual report reveal five categories of shareholders of the company. They are; Caricement BV, Associated Int. Cements Ltd U.K, Stanbic IBTC Nominees Limited, Odua Investment Company Limited and “other Shareholders”.

Stanbic IBTC Nominees Limited holds 1.56 percent of N251.55 million shares. Findings show that the company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

 Also, Odua Investment Company Limited holds 2.26 percent share of N364.62 Million. Checks into the company’s official website reveals that the company is owned by the government of the six South Western State of Nigeria but run by an independent board of directors. Extensive search into the company’s information base show that Segun Aina is the Chairman of the company while Adewale Raji is the Group Managing Director. Other directors are Chief Segun Ojo,Seni Adio, Tola Kasali, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Segun Olujobi, Otunba Adebola Osibogun, Folusho Olaiyan, Adekemi Ajayi and Olugbolahan Mark-George.

 Those tagged as “other shareholders” with 12.36 percent shares of N1.99 billion are made up of those who bought the company’s shares from the Nigerian stock market. 

However, the above three categories are minor shareholders of the company.  Section 120 (2) of the Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, gives insight into the powers the last two that would be mentioned wield. ” A person is a substantial shareholder in a public company if he holds himself or by his nominee, shares in the company which entitle him to exercise at least 5% of the unrestricted voting rights at any general meeting of the company”.

Interestingly, Caricement BV holds 56.04 percent shareholding of N9.03 billion while Associated Int. Cements Ltd U.K holds 27.77 percent shareholding of N4.47 billion. Lafarge’s 2020 Annual report notes that these two companies which jointly hold 83.81 shares of the company are subsidiaries of Holcim, the parent company of Lafarge Africa. Thus, considering the provisions of CAMA, the only entity with at least 5 percent voting rights is Holcim. Their two subsidiaries make them the substantial shareholder or otherwise referred to as the beneficial owners of Lafarge Africa. Who then are the faces behind Holcim?

The 2021 annual report of Holcim shows that there are 13 beneficial owners of the company. They are the Board of Directors. These Directors are Beat Hess, Dieter Spãlti, Oscar Fanjul, Philippe Block, Kim Fausing, Jan Jenisch, Colin Hall, Patrick Kron, Naina Lai Kidwai, Adrian Loader, Jurg Oleas, Claudia Sender Ramirez and Hanne Sorensen.

Among them, six persons stand out with the highest share of the total 630,389 shares of the company. Jan Jenisch, a German national who joined Holcim in 2017 is the Chief Executive Officer of the company. He owns 400,000 shares of Holcim. Beat Hess a Swiss national elected to the Board of Directors of Holcim in 2010 is the Chairperson of the company and owns 100,510 shares. Dieter Spãlti also a Swiss national elected to the Board of Directors in 2003 is the Vice-chairperson of the company and holds 58,653 shares.

 Adrian Loader a British national elected to the Board of Directors in 2006 holds 25,527 shares. Hanne Sorensen, Danish national elected to the Board of Directors in 2013 has 15,124 shares while Jurg Oleas a Swiss national elected to the Board of Directors in 2014 holds 11,594 shares.

However, these 13 persons do not run proceedings directly from the company’s headquarters in Switzerland. They have men who manage their business interest in Nigeria.

Analysis of the 2021 financial statements of Lafarge Africa coupled with the 2020 annual report of the company reveal seven Nigerians and nine foreign nationals who are representing the interest of the parent company in Nigeria.  

 The Nigerians are Mrs. Elenda Giwa-Amu, who holds the only company’s share of 203,550, Mr. Mobalaji Balogun, Mr. Adebode Adefioye, Mr. Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, Mrs. Adenike Ogunlesi, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, and Mrs Oyinkan Adewale.

 The Foreign directors are Mr. Khaled Abdel Aziz El-Dokani who is the Group Managing Director and Country Chief Executive Officer (Egyptian), Mr. Grant Earnshaw (British), Mrs. Karine Uzan Mercie (French), Mr. Jean-Philippe Benard (French), Mr. Christof Hassig (Swiss), Mr. Marco Licata (Italian), Mr. Rossen Papazov (Bulgarian), Mr. Oliver Guitton (French) and Mrs. Virginie Darbo (French).  

 Interestingly, most of the Directors in the company including the Nigerian nationals have business concerns outside the country which should make them understand international best practices in a given business environment. 

Checks at Dato Capital, an open portal that enables search on international private companies and directors coupled with Lafarge’s 2020 annual report gave deeper insight.

 Documents revealed that Lolu Alade-Akinyemi a certified accountant with over 20 years experience was appointed a director in two companies at Windsor and Maidenhead, United Kingdom on April 11, 2007. He also served in top leadership at Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Ghana, London, and Belgium. 

 Adebode Adefioye who is the Chairman of Lafarge Africa is a director in a company in the United Kingdom. He also holds positions as a Chemist and secretary. Adefioye also sits on the board of a number of companies, both private and publicly quoted in Nigeria, including Eterna PLC and Wema Bank PLC.

 Mrs. Elenda Ohirenua Francesca Giwa-Amu who was the Acting Managing Director of Cross River State Tourism Bureau and Executive Secretary of Cross River State Carnival Commission was appointed a director in a company in Essex, United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 11, 2008. Oyinkansade Adewale is also a company director in the United Kingdom.

Mrs. Adenike Morenike Ogunlesi, was appointed as a secretary of a company on April 19, 2005 in Harrow, United Kingdom while Gbenga Oyebode was re-elected as a company Administrator in May 2017 at Luxembourg. 

 Some of the foreign Directors of Lafarge Africa also have experience in other countries. For instance, documents gathered shows that Mr. Grant Watson Earnshaw who had served as CEO of Lafarge Iraq and Managing Director of Lafarge Middle East is a director in a company in Nottingham, United Kingdom. Earnshaw was appointed as a shareholder in the company on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, and is an individual with 25-50% of voting rights coupled with right to appoint and remove directors.

 For Mrs. Karine Uzan Mercie, she has held various leadership position in Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. Atlanta U.S.A . She  has also served as Vice President, Corporate Initiatives, Group Head of Tax, Treasurer Europe and Vice President, Public Affairs and Communication, France. Mercie was appointed in June 2008 as Director at Gemeente Breda province in the Netherlands but resigned in March 2011. Also in Luxembourg, she was mentioned as a related person to a company director in May, 2014, October 2015 and July 2016. In August 2017, she resigned as administrator in one of the companies.

Mr. Marco Licata before becoming the general counsel for the Middle East and Africa Region at Lafarge Holcim in Zug, Switzerland, he had served as General Counsel at Onshore Wind for General Electricity in New York, U.S.A, same position at Renewable Power for Alstom in Paris France, Barcelona Spain and Milan Italy.

CSO recommends Solution to Mfamosing’s Resource Curse 

A non-governmental organisation, Justice Development and Peace (JDC) Caritas, has said that it is an act of injustice for the government of Cross River State not to use the resources gained from Mfamosing for its development.

 The organisation which is familiar with the situation in Mfamosing noted that it is troubling that the government has abdicated their responsibility of providing social and economic welfare to Lafarge.

 In an interview with the organisation’s lead, Williams Itorok, he stated “The resources are not used for the benefit of the community. Even when royalties and taxes gotten from Mfamosing are paid to the government coffers, priority is not given to the community. The roads are deplorable.

  “The government just collects the money and moves away leaving their social and economic responsibility to the company. This robs the community. Having depleted the resources of the community, there is nothing done to replace it or rebuild the community after the extraction for the past years.”

 He explained that the depletion of the resources of the community means that there is a need to replace it with some other thing. The organisation lead pointed out that as an agrarian community, the government should understand that the extraction is pushing people away from agriculture hence it is government responsibility to provide alternatives for them.  

Commenting on the benefits that should come from Lafarge, Itorok said the root to addressing the problem begins with the community having an effective committee which would interface with the company to have insight into the level of mineral production thus be able to determine what should come to the community.  

He recommended that the company on their part have to be transparent as that will reduce restiveness since the community will know what is going out and what will be coming to them.
 The JDC lead called on Lafarge to fast track the availability of Community Development Agreement as provided by law instead of corporate social responsibility which is usually voluntary. 

You may read the first part of the report through the link below:

The Scramble for Mfamosing: How Lafarge’s Illegal Mining, Corruption is Causing Untold Hardship To Community- Part 1

*This investigation is supported by Policy Alert with funding from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)*

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