Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Nigeria’s leading integrated sugar company, has come out to debunk claims made by one of its fierce competitors in the sugar market, BUA Sugar Refinery, of involvement in price-fixing and arbitrary collusion to create sugar scarcity and keep the price of the commodity high.
This reaction by the leading producer of granulated sugar was made in an effort to vehemently refute the allegations and assertions made by BUA Sugar Refinery.
The management of BUA Sugar Refinery recently came out to point fingers at the Dangote Group for taking actions and conniving with Flour Mills of Nigeria to push out competition in the Sugar industry and create a situation of perfect monopoly for themselves.
What you should know about the allegations
The allegation made by BUA was triggered by a joint letter written by John Coumantaros of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc and Aliko Dangote of Dangote Industries Limited, reporting key developments in the Nigeria Sugar Industry to the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo.
The duo in the letter dated January 28, 2021, pointed out how BUA’s new sugar refinery in Port Harcourt may lead to a spike above the import quota as stipulated in the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP), and how BUA’s investment in the sugar industry via the new refinery is non-compliant to the undertakings under its Backward Integration Programme, in line with local production.
DSR in the letter also stressed that BUA’s Sugar refinery in the Free Trade Zone in Port Harcourt, may circumvent the National Sugar Master Plan’s (NSMP) framework and jeopardize its objectives by taking advantage of the location of its Port-Harcourt Refinery in the Free Trade Zone.
This letter led to a response by BUA Sugar Refinery noting that the allegations laid bare to the Minister of Trade and Investment by DSR and FMN were born out of the desire to create sugar scarcity and drive up the price of sugar by weeding out competition in the sugar industry.
Dangote Sugar reaction to the allegations
In line with this, the Dangote Sugar Refinery wishes to vehemently refute the allegations and assertions made by BUA Sugar Refinery as they are not only false, but defamatory, malicious and libellous, as they were geared at tarnishing the good name and brand of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and Dangote Industries Limited.
The Group Managing Director, Mr Ravindra Singhvi, explained that the Dangote Group is socially responsible and considers price-fixing to be unethical and disastrous to the nation’s economy, and as such, the allegations made by BUA is highly mischievous and defamatory and should be considered a malicious attempt to smear the reputation of DSR.
“DSR does not engage in artificial price manipulation of its products, either during the Holy month of Ramadan or at any other time. We have never ever increased the price of our food items or commodities during the Holy month of Ramadan in the history of our operations,” he said.