Dangote and BUA Row Extend in Sugar Sector Amid Allegations of Policy Violations

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Aliko Dangote and Abdul Samad Rabiu, respectively the richest men and sixth in Africa according to Forbes estimate, argued over compliance issues related to the Nigerian sugar industry’s upstream integration policy, exacerbating an already complicated dispute over the ownership of a cement site.

Mr. Dangote, chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, told Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Niyi Adebayo in a letter seen by PREMIUM TIMES that the establishment of a sugar factory by BUA International Limited , owned by Mr. Rabiu in Port Harcourt Free Trade Zone did not comply with export laws.

“The mid-term review conducted by the NSDC (National Sugar Development Council) was clear in its conclusions – BUA has not made substantial investments in local production or has failed to meet its commitments under the of its PIF, “Dangote said in a letter signed jointly with John Coumantaros, President of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, another manufacturer of the product.

“BUA only intends to import and refine raw sugar while claiming to invest in the development of sugar cane plantations in order to qualify for raw sugar import quotas. “

Relations between the two turned icy in June 2020 when BUA Cement, majority owned by Mr Samad, obtained a restraining order against Dangote Cement, in which Africa’s richest man holds the majority stake, after police raided its three sites in Obu Okpella, Edo state. .

The BUA group said Dangote Cement had launched the action.

“BUA seriously opposes the ridiculous claims by its two main competitors that it aims to bypass the sugar industry’s PIF – an initiative in which it has invested billions of naira and is nearing completion,” she said. declared in a reply to the indictment for contravention of the sugar policy.

“To assert that the export-oriented BUA PH refinery in an export zone will amount to an infringement of the NSMP (National Sugar Master Plan) is false.” “

President Muhammadu Buhari has given the green light for the development of the Port Harcourt plant, according to Mr. Rabiu.

BUA Between a pact with the French hydrocarbons group, Axes, in September 2020 for the development of a refinery and a 200,000 barrels per day petrochemical plant in Akwa Ibom State, a little over a year before the start of the 650,000 b / d refinery j from M. Dangote in Lagos.

Mr. Dangote’s fortune stands at $ 12.1 billion, while that of Mr. Rabiu, Nigeria’s third wealthiest person, stands at $ 5.5 billion, according to Forbes.

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