What Crime Did lbeto Commit?
His Crime is being an Igboman.
When President Obasanjo encouraged local production of cement, the Manager of Ibeto cement factory promised to flood the Nigerian market with cement and drastically reduce the price of the product.
Ibeto fulfilled his promise and flooded the country with cement. The result was that the price of cement crashed. This jolted Dangote cement and affected his business adversely.
Aliko Dangote wrote a petition to former President Olusegun Obasanjo kicking against the authority the federal government Ibeto granted to import 800,000 metric tons of cement.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo issued a directive that Ibeto was not allowed to import cement into the country until it proved its investment in local production. Dangote was allowed to import cement.
Thousands of staff of lbeto cement were rendered jobless.
When late President Umaru Yar’ Adua succeeded Obasanjo, Ibeto, in July 2007, applied for import allocation and it was granted. Once again, he flooded the country with quality cement, and the prices crashed.
Dangote Cement PLC quickly filed a suit alleging that Ibeto Cement Company is gaining the undue advantage by the federal government.
On its part, the Federal Government contended that Dangote Cement PLC is plotting to wipe out fair competition and create a monopoly in the industry and transform itself into the only cock that crows in Nigeria.
But Ibeto further filed terms of the settlement, which were entered as the consent judgment in the suit.
In line with the consent judgment, it will continue to import 1.5million metric tons of cement per annum for the period between 1 October 2007 and 30 September 2017.
This was in line with the Federal Government guarantee conveyed a letter by the Ministry of Trade and Industry dated 5 June 2002.
By the judgment, the Federal Government was to pay Ibeto Cement Company the sum of $40 million and N1,885,813,592(N1.9billion). The amount is the verified claims by the inter-ministerial committee of the federal government for losses suffered by Ibeto from the unjustified closure of its bagging plant between December 2005 and when it resumed operations in October 2007.
But Dangote Cement PLC consented that its rights and interests were affected by the consent judgment.
Dangote argued that the continuance of lbeto cement makes Dangote cement expensive.
However, the Federal Government and six of its agencies, which are the other defendants in their counter-affidavit deposed to by one Emmanuel Joel, an Assistant Litigation Officer in the law firm of Kenna Partners, argued that Dangote Cement PLC filed the suit with only one intention, to wipe out competition in cement business and become a monopoly.
The Federal Government also contended that Dangote cement has no locus in filing the suit as the matter didn’t concern them. It averred that the suit instituted by Ibeto Cement against the Federal Government was not fraudulent. Furthermore, it argued that Dangote Cement was not a nominee or agent of government agencies, which are defendants in the suit, and is not acting on their behalf. It argued that Dangote Cement Plc is not an agency of Federal Government with the statutory mandate of administering, managing or enforcing tax compliance, therefore lacking the locus standi to commence or maintain the legal action and seek the reliefs in the case.
Ibeto took cement to another level. It signed a contract agreement of
$368million with a China company Zhejiang Sinoma Engineering Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd to produce 6,000metric tons of Cement in Enugu State, south-east Nigeria.
The contract covered crushing limestone mining, cement raw materials to packaging, shipped to the whole process and a 45MW captive power plant, covering engineering design, equipment, steel and material supply, civil works, installation, commissioning and personnel training.
Already, Ibeto Company operates a similar facility in Port Harcourt, River State which produces 6000tons of cement.
Dangote was afraid that his dominance and monopoly of cement production will be destroyed by lbeto.
Ibeto is a billionaire and one of the wealthiest men in Africa. As at 2013, he was estimated to be worth about $3.7 billion dollars by Ventures Africa.
His Petrochemical Industries Limited which manufactures oil lubricants and other various petroleum products both for local and international trade has the largest liquid storage facility for petroleum.
You see why Nigeria cannot work until something extra ordinary is done? Dangote is also functioning as government “machinery” in the present government.
Dangote sell his cement at very high price in Nigeria and cheaper price in neighbouring countries like Benin Rep, Ghana and the rest of them.
Published by by Wapchris Media TEAM