Raids on Dangote Group, other Local Conglomerating inimical to growth of Economy –Kano ACF
By: Femi Mustapha
On 4th January 2024, operatives of the EFCC stormed the Head Office of the Dangote Group at Ikoyi, Lagos.
The search was linked with the probe of 51 companies by the anti-graft agency forex transactions in the last 10 years.
Before the visit/ raid, Dangote Group had sought clarification on why certain documents were demanded, but this proved abortive.
They also requested additional time to “compile and properly present the required extensive documentation”.
Neither the clarification nor the extension was granted. On January 4 EFCC personnel descended on Dangote Head Office demanding the same documents the company’s officials had already brought to the premises of the anti-graft police.
The raid of the premises of Dangote Headquarters and those of other 51 big business establishments by the EFCC is capable of discouraging foreign investors who are already showing signs of reluctance to bring their money into the country.
The Arewa Consultative Forum, the Kano State chapter, and the good people of Kano are apprehensive about the raid on Dangote because we see it as an unhealthy development that could further worsen our economic situation, scare investors, and hinder Nigeria’s growth prospects.
The move would further exacerbate our current difficult situation and deter potential investment. We cannot but agree with the position advanced by no less than one of the most respected members of the National Assembly who reacted thus: ”
Given our current fragile economic situation, this move by the EFCC will worsen things.
Now is not the time for this; it is the time for the nation to focus on the integration of African economies and the expansion of trade and investments across the continent to stimulate growth and create employment opportunities, not conducting a raid on its largest conglomerate”.
Dangote’s impact for decades has been felt through various facets of our economy.
The company played a crucial role in transforming our economy from heavy import dependence to a net exporter in critical industries.
ACF reaffirms that no one individual, group or institution are above the Laws of the Land. Our position is that if any of the companies under the Dangote seal, or among the remaining 51 affected companies under probe, violated any of our laws, appropriate sanctions should be applied. In most advanced economies, that is what obtains.
For instance, at various times Microsoft, Beta, BP and several business concerns had been fined by the US government for infractions committed.
Recently, P&G and a few other conglomerates left Nigeria. Aliko Dangote is one of the most patriotic businessmen who had chosen to invest in Nigeria.
Several equally very rich people kept their resources in portfolio investments, real estate and other endeavours in foreign lands at the expense of Nigeria.
We should celebrate Dangote and all our local big companies for their doggedness, persistence and unwavering commitment to bolster the Nigerian economy.
ACF calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to devise amicable ways of making our top business establishments make greater contributions to our economic growth; and halt the raids, as the nation struggles hard to attract foreign investment and other key ingredients to redeem the economy.
BELLO SANI GALADANCHI, Publicity Secretary