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Border Closure: Dangote reacts, says report of sole cement export misleading, mischievous


The management of Dangote Group has described as
misleading reports that the company was granted sole
approval to export cement through the land borders.
In a statement Tuesday, the company said it was not the only
company enjoying such privilege to move goods through the
land borders.
NEWS ARENA had reported how facts emerged on Monday
that despite the border closure policy put in place, the
Nigerian government had allowed Dangote Cement to resume
cement export across its land borders.
According to Bloomberg, President Muhammadu Buhari‘s
administration gave its authorization for Africa’s biggest
producer to export cement to Niger and Togo in the third
quarter for the first time in ten months.
The revelations were made by Michel Puchercos, chief
executive officer of Dangote Cement, on an investor call in
Lagos.
Bloomberg reported Mr Puchercos to have claimed that the
development was made possible “through authorization given
by this administration.”
But in his reaction to the Bloomberg publication, the Group
Chief, Branding and Communications, Dangote Group,
Anthony Chiejina, said the report is 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,” he said in a
statement Tuesday.
The statement said 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,” the statement said.
“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.”
On Tuesday, the development was met with criticisms among
Nigerians on social media.
In his reaction, Chairman of Stanbic IBTC, Atedo Peterside,
noted that allowing legitimate exporters and importers to
move their goods across the border should be a no-brainer.
“Why refuse everybody else & allow only one company
(Dangote)? This is why some of us argue that the Nigerian
economy is rigged in favour of a handful of well-connected
persons,” he said in a tweet.