We wrote it, Dangote confirms authorship of letter to Minister Against BUA
The bickering between two Nigerian billionaires, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and AbdulSamad Rabiu, has continued to degenerate. This time, the two business Lords from Kano, Northwest Nigeria, have taken their long-time sour relationship, which became obvious from Cement price war to the Sugar industry.
Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC (DSR), owned by Africa’s richest man, has confirmed that it wrote a letter to the minister against BUA.
BUA was earlier reported to have said that it was ready to slash the price of sugar considered to be too high in Nigeria. This was followed by a report by an online publication that Dangote Sugar, which controls a large market share, is allegedly engaged in price-fixing and that it is not honestly engaged in any Backward Integration Programme, as claimed.
Reacting to these, Dangote Sugar Refinery In a statement obtained by Platforms Africa, vehemently refuted the allegations and assertions in their entirety.
The statement further said that the allegations, which it described as false, are geared at tarnishing the good name and brand of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and Dangote Industries Limited.
“DSR does not engage in artificial price manipulation of its products, either during the Holy month of Ramadan or at any other time. We have never ever increased price of our food items or commodities during the Holy month of Ramadan in the history of our operations” according to the Group Managing Director, Mr. Ravindra Singhvi.
He also added that the Company is socially responsible and considers price-fixing to be unethical.
Such allegation is highly mischievous and a calculated attempt to smear the reputation of DSR. DSR can only sadly conclude that the online publication is mischievous and geared at creating some form of undue advantage to some Industry players, he said.
He said that the company began its Backward Integration Programme (BIP) with a 10-year sugar development plan, to produce 1.5 million MT per annum of sugar from locally grown sugarcane. The Project commenced with acquisition of large expanse of land in strategic locations such as Taraba State, Adamawa State and Nasarawa State.
To this end, three (3) BIP sugar companies; Dangote Taraba Sugar Limited, Dangote Adamawa Sugar Limited, Nasarawa Sugar Company Limited were incorporated.
According to the statement, the Company had commenced rehabilitation and expansion of its Sugar Factory at Numan. Sugarcane planting has also commenced in the two other BIP locations.
“DSR has a responsibility to the Government, the good people of Nigeria and the Sugar Industry and all other stakeholders to protect the integrity of the Sugar industry and wishes to assure its stakeholders as follows: It will do all that is necessary to vehemently protect the integrity of the Sugar Industry, it is not engaged in price fixing and it encourages healthy competition amongst the players.
“DSR highlighted a matter (BUA’s operation of a Sugar refinery in the Free Trade Zone in Port Harcourt, exporting refined sugar into the Custom territory) which may circumvent the National Sugar Master Plan’s (NSMP) framework and jeopardize its objectives by taking advantage of the location of its Port-Harcourt Refinery in the Free Trade Zone. DSR made this notification to the Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade & Investments bona fide, via its letter to the Minister dated January 28, 2021 asking the Minister to investigate the matter.
“We believe our action is in line with our responsibility as a major stakeholder to alert the supervising Ministry on activities that would derail the plan of the Federal Government in its drive to self -sufficiency in Sugar under the NSMP,” the statement said.