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Dangote: We’ve repatriated over $687m through our Africa operations

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) says over $687 million has been repatriated to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), so far, through its pan-African operations.

DIL disclosed this in a statement on Sunday while addressing “allegations of engaging in fraudulent foreign exchange (FX) transactions, approved by the CBN”, by BUA Group — its competitor.

Historically, DIL and BUA Group are well-known rivals as each company seeks to dominate Nigeria’s manufacturing sector.

In 2021, Abdullahi Ganduje, then Kano governor and current APC chairman, initiated a peace meeting between the billionaire businessmen, Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group and Abdussamad Rabiu of BUA Group, to foster cooperation.

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But recent events involving the two conglomerates suggest that the reconciliation efforts — which Aminu Dantata, Kano elder statesman and business mogul, also played a key role in — may have come to an end.

In a renewed clash on Friday, Dangote Group accused BUA of running a smear campaign in the media over alleged financial crimes running into $3.4 billion under Godwin Emefiele, ex-CBN governor.

Further speaking on the issue on Sunday, DIL said all of its FX transactions were approved by the CBN and were used for its pan-African operations.

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DIL revealed that it repatriated $576,008,672.41 through various banks in Nigeria, in addition to a $111,968,109.38 cash swap arrangement between Dangote Cement Plc and Ethiopian Airlines.

This, the company said, had “saved the CBN the same amount of money that would have been paid to foreign exchange dealers”.

“We are not body-shop investors. We believe in Nigeria, and we believe in Africa,” the statement reads.

“We are genuine and authentic about our investments, and we call on all relevant agencies to investigate our FX transactions in the past ten years and make public any infraction noticed or discovered.”

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DIL insisted that all FX purchased in respect of its Africa project expansion was genuine and fully utilised for what it was meant for.

“The projects for which the forex was utilised are visible for everyone to see,” the firm said.

“It is on record that some of these projects were commissioned by Nigerian top-ranking government officials and in attendance were chief executives of various banks, captains of industries, and the presidents of the host countries supported by their senior government officials.

“The commissioning events of these projects were well documented and covered by both local and international media.

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“There are also print and electronic copies of the commissioning ceremonies as further testimony to the judicious utilisation of the funds.”

Dangote also said its investments in “pan-Africa” will lead to the repatriation of forex “in the very near future and boost foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria, as well as stabilise the forex market”.

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