The operations of Dangote group of Companies, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, has been described by the United States as disastrous to the Nigerian economy.
The company is the largest conglomerate in West Africa with over 30,000 employees.
According to People’s Gazette, a report published in 2010 on Wikileak’s website said even though Dangote played a major role in Nigeria’s economy, “many products on the country’s import ban list are items in which it has major interests.”
“Although an undiluted success in terms of wealth accumulation, Dangote personifies the duality in Nigeria’s economy,” the American government said while maintaining that the duality “presents a dilemma for country’s economic policy.”
It accused Dangote Group of blocking investment that the company may see as major competitors, noting that “Weighing everything in the balance, we believe the Dangote model is harmful to Nigerian and American interests in the long run.”
The American government further warned, “Unfortunately, the Dangote model will likely be the one most emulated until its beggar-thy-countrymen contradictions become more apparent.”
Dangote Group has repeatedly come under fire in Nigeria for monopoly aided by favouritism from the government. This, according to Peoples Gazette, has made the assertion of the U.S. government become evident in some of the tactics employed by the conglomerate.
The company faced backlashes after it called for a total ban on tomato importation in 2019 when it started its tomato processing subsidiary.
Peoples Gazette reports that barely two weeks ago, the conglomerate proposed a provision in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) seeking to ban the importation of oil by companies without refining licences, which according to the company, will help spur investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
Dangote also recommended that the volume of fuel imported should be distributed according to what each refinery produces, according to the report.
Financial experts, Peoples Gazette report, reckon that Dangote refinery should not be allowed to become a monopoly in the manner of the state-run NNPC, although it remained unclear how the conglomerate would be prevented from holding a monopoly if the controversial clause makes it into the PIB.
SOURCE: Peoples Gazette | PHOTO: Bloomberg