Obajana. Photo: Premium Times AKIN OYEWOBI

Obajana; Town in Kogi State, site of Obajana Cement plant by Aliko Dangote‘s conglomerate, reputed to be the largest in Africa and the third largest in the world. The 5 million metric tonnes per annum facility is also said to be the most modern plant in existence globally. Obajana is the most prominent among the confluence of neighboring  Iwa, Oyo and Apata communities of the cement manufacturing plant.

Before 2003, Obajana was just a typical, rustic Nigerian village travelers passed on their way to a bigger town or city but, except the car breaks down, there is hardly any attention paid to the village, like its other peers, was devoid of all the essentials associated with modernity – pipe-borne water, electricity, well- paved roads. Most of the houses here were roundish mud and the people thrived on subsistence farming.

There is no avoiding the huge bluish plant as one makes way into the heart of the village. But even more attention-grabbing is the evolution of the cement business within the town. A colony of cement dealers, transporters, commercial motorcycle operators and other ancillary services has developed to take advantage of output from the plant and to also provide other ancillary services to stakeholders in the project. There are no less that seven banks already operating in Obajana. This is in addition to supermarkets and other petty traders who make brisk business selling different wares to the cement community. Then, there are job seekers who daily flood the village in search of either temporary or permanent employment. This has permanently changed the tempo of the town. Rather than the sleepy rustic village it used to be, Obajana now glows at night as ‘ different types of music blast forth from different configuration of speakers located in the wooden bars and canteens opposite the cement plant[i].






[i] The NEWS 28 May, 2007

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer