Management at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has vehemently rejected allegations of engaging in illicit foreign exchange transactions and cautioned against the dissemination of such misleading claims that could undermine the company’s reputation.
The caution came in response to sponsored reports in online media, suggesting that DIL is under investigation for purported illegal forex dealings and money laundering by Special Investigator Jim Obazee, who is examining the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the tenure of former CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.In an official statement, DIL referred to these allegations as “baseless and a revival of a similar report initially propagated by a competitor, BUA Group, under the guise of a concerned Nigerian back in 2016.
“Dangote Group highlighted that this unfounded and erroneous story originally emerged in 2016 and was published in both BusinessDay and Leadership Newspapers. The authors of the recent report are accused of rehashing the old narrative to present it as a new development.
DIL clarified, “It is disheartening to note that the publication from Monday, March 14, 2016, in BusinessDay and Leadership newspapers, where the author alleged that around ‘$3 billion in foreign exchange sourced from the CBN were diverted to other Dangote companies outside Nigeria, a practice that encourages round-tripping and money laundering since there is no proper documentation.
“The management of DIL went on to explain that the same false report from 2016 has been given a new, misleading twist by someone named Ahmed Fahad, presenting it as a fresh petition addressed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr. Jim Obazee, the Special Investigator examining the CBN. Subsequently, various blogs and social media platforms have propagated variations of this unfounded allegation, which has the potential to harm the company’s reputation.
The statement reiterated that the two newspapers that published the story in 2016 as an advertorial have since publicly apologized in writing to the management of Dangote Industries Limited and retracted the advertorial entirely from their respective publications.
These newspapers acknowledged that the advertorial was sponsored by BUA Nigeria Limited.DIL emphasized that all foreign exchange for its numerous projects was acquired exclusively from the Interbank Foreign Exchange market, in strict compliance with CBN approvals.
Letters of Credit were established to facilitate the construction of various operational plants and the acquisition of heavy equipment and spare parts necessary for the launch of Dangote Cement plants.
The company further clarified its forex transactions, stating, “All foreign exchange purchased for our African Projects expansion was entirely used for its designated purposes. The projects for which the foreign exchange was utilized are publicly visible. Several of these projects were inaugurated by high-ranking Nigerian government officials, accompanied by CEOs of various banks, industry leaders, and the Presidents of host countries, alongside their senior government officials.
“DIL added that the funds invested in its expansion projects across African countries constitute legitimate capital investments in those nations, and the repatriation of $576 million thus far has contributed to boosting foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria and stabilizing the foreign exchange market.
Moreover, DIL stressed that it has consistently funded the construction of its various plants through the Interbank FX Market, in line with CBN directives, and relevant periodic progress reports were submitted to banks for onward submission to the Central Bank of Nigeria.