Business OPED Opinion

The government shall bailout East Africa Portland Cement Company (EAPCC)

By Christine Musa

The government shall bailout East Africa Portland Cement Company (EAPCC), Athi River of its 15billion cash crunch to avert its looming closure.

The giant cement manufacturer which has been on its knees recently and operating at 50% production capacity requires sh15billion to operate to its full capacity.

Speaking at the EAPCC plant yesterday when he toured the company, Trade and Industrialization CS Peter Munya said the government has settled on disposing the company piece of land to bailout the company.

Cs Munya said the government will sell 900acres of the company land situated in Mavoko Athiriver, Machakos County to Kenya railways to be utilized for a modern container terminus at a tune of Sh5.2 billion in the first bailout phase. He said more land of the company 16,000acres will be disposed to fully bail out the company.

The Cs said the move was agreed upon after wide consultations with all concerned stakeholders further revealing that the company assets will not be auctioned as earlier directed by court due to debts the company owes to financial institutions and workers.

He said the land valuation has already been done and the process in underway and expected to be complete in three months’ time.

We are at the signing of the sale agreement and hopefully within three months the money would have been paid to EAPCC accounts” said Munya

The company owes its workers sh 1.5billion gratuity, Kenya commericial bank sh4.5billion and billions to other assorted creditors and the company requires 2billion refurbishment to operate to operate to capacity.

Cs Munya dismissed claims that the company management has failed terming the company woes as inherited from the huge bloated workforce and billions of pending loans.

The CS warned politicians against interfering with the company management saying the government will keenly monitor the company managerial to ensure its back to its full operation.

He said the company is key in attaining president Uhuru Kenyatta industrialization agenda further reassuring that gratuity owed to workers will be paid as stipulated.

Eapcc recently dismissed 620 workers whose contract expired in a turnaround strategy of reducing the wage bill from the huge workforce of over 1500 workers amounting to sh200million salaries per month.

The company management had recently raised a red flag of the company closure if no quick interventions are made.

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