Border closure: Other cement companies also got export approval: Dangote

Aliko Dangote, [Credit: Nigeria Bulletin].

Dangote Group has denied being granted sole approval by the federal government to export cement outside the country through the closed land borders.

The management of the conglomerate stated this in a Tuesday statement in reaction to report of being granted sole approval to use land borders close last year August.

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A Bloomberg report said the company was granted the waiver while others were not but facts at the disposal of TODAY POLITICS points to the opposite.

The report drew criticism from Nigerians including an investor who alleged that the country’s economy has been rigged to favour those with ties to policymakers.

This medium gathered that BUA cement was also granted the export approval for the same purpose in a memo marked NCS/ENF/ABJ/032/S.129 in June.

Spokesman of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina in his reaction described the report as misleading and mischievous because it focused only on Dangote Cement as the sole beneficiary of the partial special dispensation.

“Dangote Cement is a publicly quoted company and complies strictly with the Securities & Exchange Commission(SEC) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) full disclosure clauses and regularly update transparently our transactions to our shareholders and it is disheartening that such honest disclosure is being interpreted negatively,” Chiejina said in the statement.

The statement added that Dangote Cement and other companies in July 2020, got partial special dispensation to export their products with certain sequence of crossing at Ilela land border in Sokoto State and Ohumbe land border in Ogun State.

“Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Michel Puchercos, in his presentation on investor call held this week explained that the company is continuously focused on exporting cement to West and Central Africa by sea through its export terminals.

“He added that six vessels of clinker were exported in the third quarter of 2020 via the Apapa export terminal, while plans are on track to commission the Port Harcourt export terminal before the end of this year.

“For the quarter, Dangote Cement exported only 69 kilotonnes of cement via the land borders, compared to previous volumes of 180 kilotonnes before the border closures, which indicates just 38 per cent of the export volumes,” it added.

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