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.
Well written expose. Thanks nairametrics.
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.
A three star documentary, well written, with date,time and location.
Whoever crafted this report is a genius. I am pleased to have the privilege to read this well researched and composed article.
Nice. Excellent. Well written. Welldone. Keep it up!
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
Who said journalism is dead in Nigeria? This is well researched and written article. We need this type of expose to keep people informed.
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
An Informative, Well articulated and properly structured article. More greeze to your nairametrics for this fantastic article. Please keep up the good work.
An interesting article. Well researched. Thumbs up Nairametrics.
Well articulated and scripted. Good research work,balance in contents.
Awesome read. Some great work by nairametrics team.
This is a very well written exposé, we need more of this kind of report. Wonderful job guys
This is one nice piece. It should be considered for a video documentary like “The Men that Built America”
Wow, this article is amazing.. ? it.. Keep it up
just finished reading… i need to save this up, great read.
awesome read, thanks and keep it coming
This is the best piece I have ever written about Nigerian business terrain.
Awesome !! I look forward to great articles like this.
This is an amazing write up… a documentary should be made on this really… well done Nairametrics
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.
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
Is there an award akin to the Pulitzer for journalistic excellence or investigative writing in the Nigerian media? This article deserves it.
A wonderful piece. I haven’t read something this detailed in a really long while. You really did your research. Kudos!!!!!
This is the best article I have read in a Nigerian business website. Well done guys
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…
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.
Whoever wrote this story deserves a promotion.Very impressive
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.
This is a really amazing write up. You gave a new insight to the world of business in Nigeria. Thanks @nairametrics
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.
Great write up, well researched!!!
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
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.
Great piece. Well written
Wonder article we have here
still dont know why ibeto was shut down
Why will ibeto wage wars against dangote….can you imagine….anyway nice article…keep it up dude
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.
Brilliant article. Love this
Its hard to get something this informative and yet remains fact… Thanks a lot, ore of the same please
nice information and thanks for sharing
dangote poduction is the best when it comes to cement business