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Cement Wars: The battle for Cement dominance between Ibeto vs Dangote

A story of the battle for Cement dominance in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria.



dangote ibeto

A story of the battle for Cement dominance in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria. How one man surmounted rivals, both big and small, to become the undisputed King of African Cement and another battled with the guardians of the corridors of power.

On a cold afternoon in November 2005, Federal Government operatives, acting on orders from above, swooped down on a busy factory in the oil rich city of Port Harcourt. They were under instructions to seal off a warehouse whose operations had contravened a government policy – a policy that would later prove decisive in a brutal race for market share in an industry worth over N1 trillion.

At first, the closure appeared to be due to a mix-up between an agency of the Government and the owners of the warehouse. It was expected to be resolved in a matter of days by the billionaire Chairman of the company. Emissaries were dispatched to help resolve whatever misunderstanding may have led to the seemingly excessive act by the government.

As days turned into weeks and weeks into months, it dawned on the owners of the multi-billion-naira conglomerate, which was based in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, that they were dealing with powers that stretched far beyond the red sands of the South East. Something had to be done to resolve this issue. At stake was not only the reputation of the company, but billions of naira in inventory that could erode all the wealth that had been built over the years.

Flashback – School boy

It was January 22, 1966 in the bustling suburb of Nnewi in Anambra state, South-Eastern Nigeria. Nigeria had just witnessed a deadly coup one week earlier, and the mood in the country was still tense. But for a certain household, a major decision had to be made. Cyril, the eldest son of the home, was having a chat with his father that would decide the fate of one of his siblings.



Nairametrics is Nigeria's top business news and financial analysis website. We focus on providing resources that help small businesses and retail investors make better investing decisions. Nairametrics is updated daily by a team of professionals. Post updated as "Nairametrics" are published by our Editorial Board.



  1. Anonymous

    August 24, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Well written expose. Thanks nairametrics.

  2. Alfred Anfela

    August 24, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Absolutely incredible. One of the most interesting articles I have ever read in the Nigerian media. A very big thank you to the writer for this valuable write-up. God bless you.

  3. Segun olarewaju Johnson

    August 24, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    A three star documentary, well written, with date,time and location.
    Well done

  4. Bobby Ikenna

    August 25, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Whoever crafted this report is a genius. I am pleased to have the privilege to read this well researched and composed article.

  5. Anonymous

    August 25, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Nice. Excellent. Well written. Welldone. Keep it up!

  6. Eniola

    August 25, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Wow.This was an awesome read. Well detailed and very informative. Keep up the great work. My own little token will be to spread this link as much as I can and blow the trumpet of this site. Kudos

  7. Sam

    August 25, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Brilliantly written.

  8. Kay Abayomi

    August 25, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Beautifully written!

  9. Meche Ozonaya

    August 25, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Who said journalism is dead in Nigeria? This is well researched and written article. We need this type of expose to keep people informed.

  10. Obasanjo Sanusi

    August 25, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    I have never read anything like this in the Nigerian Media, whoever put this piece together did a great job, the fact that we were taken back in history and the merging of stories, kept me reading to the end….big thumbs up

  11. Anonymous

    August 25, 2018 at 6:45 pm


  12. Chigo

    August 25, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    An Informative, Well articulated and properly structured article. More greeze to your nairametrics for this fantastic article. Please keep up the good work.

  13. Anonymous

    August 25, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    An interesting article. Well researched. Thumbs up Nairametrics.

    • Anonymous

      June 16, 2020 at 11:32 pm

      Well articulated and scripted. Good research work,balance in contents.

  14. Oloye TOLU Osaretin (@tholu_osa2)

    August 25, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    Awesome read. Some great work by nairametrics team.

  15. John Analoh

    August 26, 2018 at 8:10 am

    This is a very well written exposé, we need more of this kind of report. Wonderful job guys

  16. Anonymous

    August 26, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    This is one nice piece. It should be considered for a video documentary like “The Men that Built America”

  17. Anonymous

    August 26, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Wow, this article is amazing.. 😍 it.. Keep it up

  18. Chris

    August 27, 2018 at 1:52 am

    just finished reading… i need to save this up, great read.

  19. Anonymous

    August 27, 2018 at 4:41 am

    great read!

  20. kenny

    August 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    awesome read, thanks and keep it coming

  21. Anonymous

    August 27, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    This is the best piece I have ever written about Nigerian business terrain.

  22. Timi Oyatomi

    August 28, 2018 at 1:35 am

    Awesome !! I look forward to great articles like this.

  23. Nnee

    August 28, 2018 at 6:05 am

    This is an amazing write up… a documentary should be made on this really… well done Nairametrics

  24. Anonymous

    August 28, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Awesome. Thank you Nairametrics.

    Please don’t stop here, we also need to have a “Enters BUA” part of the story. The competition between BUA and Dangote will also give us another perspective of the industry.

  25. MrA1

    August 29, 2018 at 10:26 am

    This write up is so very well written and researched.
    Ugo and the Nairametrics crew, una welldone!

    Young as I am, this reminds me of a research project I did on Dangcem for my masters

  26. Dehinbo

    August 29, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Is there an award akin to the Pulitzer for journalistic excellence or investigative writing in the Nigerian media? This article deserves it.
    Illuminatingly brilliant!

  27. Chinemerem Onunkwo

    August 30, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    A wonderful piece. I haven’t read something this detailed in a really long while. You really did your research. Kudos!!!!!

  28. Seyi

    August 31, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    This is the best article I have read in a Nigerian business website. Well done guys

  29. Mayor

    September 4, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    This is quite objective and very informative.

    This clearly shows the significant role government plays in making the top merchants who they are.

    No solo runs…

  30. erasmus ekwulugwo

    September 8, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    dangote being greedy and having the protection of the federal govt., should have been condemed by the response but here the indept journalism was praised.

  31. Bolaji Tojola

    October 5, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Whoever wrote this story deserves a promotion.Very impressive

  32. Ajayi Oluwaseun

    November 2, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Nicely delivered and well researched. The itch as someone mentioned is the fact that BUA cement owned by Abdul Samad Rabiu is left out of the picture. In fact speaking of “the battle for dominance” among indigenous players in the cement industry, Rabiu should be more of a contender with Dangote than Ibeto.

  33. larry ufuoma

    March 28, 2019 at 11:15 am

    This is a really amazing write up. You gave a new insight to the world of business in Nigeria. Thanks @nairametrics

  34. Folabi Awojobi

    April 5, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Excellent write up. It is clear that the business world in Nigeria is not for the faint hearted and you must ensure you don’t make enemies in government corridors. It can almost always certainly spell doom.

  35. CHI O.

    June 26, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Great write up, well researched!!!

  36. NobleNat

    June 26, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    This is the reason I can’t do without coming to Nirametrics in a day!
    Absolutely a great piece 👌
    Kudos to the Team that put this up

  37. Oye

    July 24, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    I have been procastinating on reading this topic for long, I am happy I read it today. Well researched and excellently delivered. Kudos to Ugo and his team.

  38. Emmanuel

    September 4, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Great piece. Well written

  39. Erika Johnson

    October 22, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Wonder article we have here

  40. Raphblog

    December 31, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    still dont know why ibeto was shut down

  41. Oluwatuyi Olawale

    January 6, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    Why will ibeto wage wars against dangote….can you imagine….anyway nice article…keep it up dude

  42. Ikem

    January 12, 2020 at 11:48 pm


  43. Kolade

    March 5, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    I am greatly impressed by this effort.This is one of the things that Nigeria lacked over the ages, rich and verifiable history of Nigerian owned businesses, so that upcoming Titans can learn.

  44. Ayoola

    March 8, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Brilliant article. Love this

  45. Ubaja

    April 28, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Its hard to get something this informative and yet remains fact… Thanks a lot, ore of the same please

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A bitter family feud has continued to hamper this company’s growth

Sometime in early 2012, a wealthy, sophisticated, and beautiful middle-aged Nigerian businesswoman walked into a Lagos courtroom to testify before a judge.



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