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BUA Group boss, Abdulsamad Rabiu’s envious war against Aliko Dangote

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…The truth and lies you need to know

 

The claim by BUA Group that Dangote Group is trying to create a monopoly in the Cement Industry in Nigeria has been punctured by documents filed in a Court of law in a recent suit.

The documents revealed that Dangote’s interest and title in the dispute; Mining Lease is legitimate and was acquired through due process of law.

According to investigations, the battle for the ownership of Mining Lease No. 2541 started long before the Dangote Group came into the picture as far as its acquisition of the said Mining Lease No. 2541 is concerned.

“It is therefore wrong and misleading to suggest as being done by the BUA Group that Dangote Group is out to undermine BUA’s operations. “For those who care to know the truth, the dispute over the Mining Lease dates back to the days of Ukpilla Cement Company Limited which later metamorphosed into Edo Cement Company Limited.

“The Mining Lease No. 2541 was then known as Mining Lease No. 17825 and has always been owned by AICO Ado Ibrahim & Co Limited.

“Even before the advent of BUA, Ukpilla Cement had indeed acknowledged on several occasions AICO’s ownership of the Mining Lease No. 17825, which was granted as far back as in 1974 and when the then Governor of Edo State at the time attempted to carve out the Mining Lease Nos. 18912 and 18913, which fall within the then existing Mining Lease No. 17825 belonging to AICO, the defunct Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (which gave birth to the present Ministry of Mines and Steel Development) wrote to the Governor as far back as in 1993 directing it not to grant the said mining leases as they overlap with AICO’s then existing Mining Lease No. 17825 (now 2541),” the documents indicated.

The available documents equally showed that the same illegal Mining Leases Nos. 18912 and 18913, which were granted in error, formed the basis of BUA’s claim to ownership of mining lease in the disputed mining site.

Even BUA, in its process in Court, according to the document, acknowledged that these illegal mining leases, which it claim were granted in 1997 were temporary mining leases.

The document further indicated that “Beyond the issue of temporary nature of the BUA’s Mining Leases, they were illegally granted in the first place as they were granted by the Governor of Edo State, who lacked the power to grant Mining Lease even though BUA has documents, which purport to show that the Minister of Mines signed the mining lease.

“Of course, like they often say, one cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand and the documents being paraded by BUA as emanating from the Ministry has been described to be illegal, null and void by the same Ministry,” it stated.

We learned through the document that prior to the enactment of the Mining Act, 2007, the then Minister for Solid Minerals under Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, sometime in 2006, waded into the dispute and invited the managements of Edo Cement Company Limited and AICO Ado Ibrahim & Company Limited for a meeting.

It stated further that in the course of the meeting, the then Minister again queried the legality of Mining Lease Nos 18912 and 18913 and the power of the Governor of Edo State to grant such mining leases. “At the end of the Meeting, the Minister declared the Edo Cement’s Mining Leases Nos. 18912 and 18913 illegal and declared the mining site open for interested investors.

“Given that AICO’s then existing Mining Lease No. 17825 was yet to be renewed even though application for renewal was pending, AICO in 2007 (under the Mining Act, 2007) applied for the fresh Mining Lease No. 2541 and the Ministry granted it in 2008 without any objection from Edo Cement Company.

“AICO continued its mining operations in the Mining Lease No. 2541 undisturbed until BUA Group acquired Edo Cement Company Limited and resuscitated the dispute again.

“It was the attempt by BUA to encroach on AICO’s mining title in Mining Lease No. 2541 that prompted AICO to write to the Ministry in 2015 complaining of BUA’s encroachment,” the document revealed.

We learned further that the Ministry, after investigation in the same 2015 by the letter dated 21 January 2015, wrote to the Chairman of BUA Group directing BUA to stop mining within the ML. No. 2541.

“It was this same letter from the Ministry that prompted BUA to file a Suit at the Federal High Court Benin in 2016.

“BUA in the said Suit continued to maintain that it has Temporary Mining Leases ML. 18912 and 18913 both dated 24 October 1997, which it claims are located in Obu-Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State and only recently amended their claim to state that the BUA group now has full Mining Leases signed by the then Minster of Solid Minerals Development, Alhaji Mohammed Kaloma Ali even though the said Mining Leases are still predicated on the illegal Mining Nos 18912 and 18913 created by then Governor of Edo State who lacked the power to do so.

“Why BUA waited this long to come up with these questionable Mining Lease documents is a puzzle that is yet to be resolved but one thing is certain – the said Mining Leases have their root in illegality as confirmed by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development having being granted in error and in respect of existing Mining Lease belonging to AICO then and now Dangote, the document read.

This campaign of calumny and playing to the gallery to wipe up a badly bruised underdog sentiments did not start today against Aliko according to sources, in  2016, in a  4-page advertorial on March 14th, 2016 in Thisday, Business day and Leadership Newspapers, BUA group alleges an act of sabotage against Dangote Group through a crony under the pen name; David Osa-Ighodalo.

When the advertorial hit the newstand, Samad pretended as if he knew nothing about it but it was later revealed that the advert was sponsored and paid for by BUA Group.

What worries most observers is the pretence love of the owner of BUA Group, Samad Rabiu for Aliko Dangote in public, while allegedly harbouring a deadly bile inside.

What  most people close to these two eminently blessed personalities are saying is   that they  that Samad should see the accomplishments of Dangote as the work of providence rather than competing with him. They made it clear to him that most things that happen in life have been ordained by God and that he should have studied the upward movements of Dangote and see how he could also move forward rather than being envious.

They believe that Samad was being petty by his actions and that the time has come for his likes to agree that Dangote deserves whatever God is doing for him now as he has paid his dues over the years,” said a concerned individual.

An observer emphasized that Samad has only displayed the kind of character he is made of, while advising him to channel his energy to more productive ventures that could help his business rather than “seeking the downfall of a man like Dangote, who has become the pride of Africa and even the black race all over the world.”

Dangote Group, he said, has come up with innovative products that have made life easy and better for the people, adding that he is a blessing to the country, Africa and indeed the whole world with “his creative, people-oriented and relevant products that have stood the test of time.”

Samad is a movie buff, who has also done very well for himself and his family, though unlike Aliko who started his business in a very modest way,Samad built on his legendary father’s huge financial strength and now owns two private jets-Golf Stream G 550 worth $44.9 Million as well as $18 Million Legacy Aircraft, owns a Bentley and Aston Martin cars in London.

“He is almost in the same line of business with the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

“He owns Sokoto Cement, Okpela Cement in Edo State, a floating cement ship in water, flour mills in Lagos and Kano, vegetable oil mills in Kano and Lagos and also a sugar refinery.

“He is a concessionaire of a part of the port in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, biggest vegetable oil manufacturer in West Africa, owns the largest shares in privatized Delta Steel.

“He ought to be grateful to God for all these and stop looking for what is not lost” said a source.

 

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FG will soon start sourcing Forex from Dangote Group – Emefiele

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The Federal Government will soon start sourcing foreign exchange (forex) from Dangote Group, as soon as the latter’s refinery, petrochemicals and fertilizer projects come on stream.

This potential reversal of roles was disclosed by the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, after he spent over four hours touring the ongoing Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals, Fertilizer projects and Dangote deep-water jetty at the weekend.

Emefiele toured the project sites in the company of the President/CE of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Deputy Governor of the CBN, Aishah Ahmad; Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Olakunle Alake; Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries, Mr. Devakumar Edwin; and the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje.

The CBN governor premised his comment on the huge forex earnings that are expected to accrue from the export of the petrochemical and fertilizer products from the Dangote refinery and fertilizer plants by the time the fertilizer plant begins operations in May this year, and the refinery takes off as planned in 2020.

Mr. Emefiele, who commended Aliko Dangote for the volume of work done on the Dangote projects since his last visit over two years ago, also enthused that the refinery and fertilizer projects would help Nigeria to create thousands of Jobs and check importation of fuel by the federal government; thereby saving government huge amounts of forex currently being spent on fuel import.

He added that about 55 to 60 per cent of Nigeria’s spending on foreign exchange for the importation of petroleum products and food items would be saved when the Dangote Refinery come on stream. Emefiele said one third of Nigeria’s spending on forex will also be retained when the Dangote Refinery is completed.

Emefiele described the Dangote Refinery as transformational project for Nigeria, which totally keys into the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari on self-sufficiency in petroleum products, conservation of forex and diversification of the economy. “I am sure by that time, the CBN will be begging Dangote to sell its dollars to the bank,” he said.

He noted that the completion of the refinery would make Nigeria self-sufficient in the production of refined products and also make the country to be among the league of exporters of petroleum products.

Emefiele declared the CBN’s support to any company or individuals who are ready to invest in the transformation of the Nigeria economy. “We are ready to support in Naira and also ready to provide foreign exchange for any investor who is ready to support Nigeria’s transformational agenda.

“I use this opportunity to repeat that we are ready to support any individual like Aliko Dangote who is willing to invest in this country. We will continue to support companies that display the determination to support the CBN. I feel so delighted and I am happy this is happening in my own life-time and I am sure you are all so happy.”

Speaking also, President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the project would definitely transform the Nigerian economy. “We have a couple of projects at hand and we will continue with these transformative projects. The biggest problem we have in Nigeria is that we currently import more than we produce like any other African countries. But, by the time we finish our fertilizer plant, Nigeria will be the largest exporter of fertilizer in Africa. We will also be the largest exporter of petrochemicals and the largest exporter of petroleum products in the whole of Africa. This is a major transformation.”

He said the 3billion Standard Cubic Feet gas pipeline and other Dangote Projects are geared towards Nigeria’s economic transformation.

Dangote commended CBN for its moral support to the refinery project. “There are lots going on in Nigeria. We want the CBN to support us like what it did in cement sector, which made Nigeria not only self-sufficient in the production of cement, but it became an exporter of the product. Today, Nigeria will not even import cement because we no longer have capacity for importation of cement,” he added.

In a presentation made to the CBN governor, Group Executive Director at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, disclosed that the company’s target is for a significant portion of Nigeria’s crude oil production to be refined domestically, rather than imported, thereby creating jobs within Nigeria, and bringing a halt to the current importation of refined petroleum product.

Edwin said the refinery is going to provide over 100,000 indirect employment through retail outlets. He said the refinery is designed to meet Euro V grade, which is the highest standard in the world, hence products can be exported to any part of the world.

“It will be well diversified and able to process Nigerian crude, African crude and crude from other parts of the world. In terms of evacuation routes, two crude oil single point mooring (SPM) buoys and three multi-product SPMs will be located within the Atlantic Ocean to transfer crude oil to a calling tanker.

“The 2-Line Dangote Fertilizer Complex, consisting of Ammonia and Urea plants, is conceived to be one of the world’s largest fertilizer plants with a total capacity of 3 Million Tonnes per Annum of Urea fertilizer. Therefore, the Dangote Fertilizer is positioned to bridge the gap between local demand and national capacity. Dangote Fertilizer Plants will produce Urea that will assist farmers boost their crop yields through easy access to fertilizer,” he added.

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Transcorp Hotels Plc appoints Owen Omogiafo as MD/CEO

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Transcorp Hotels 1: l-r: Executive Director, Transcorp Plc, Chris Ezeafulukwe; President/CEO of Transcorp Plc, Valentine Ozigbo; Managing Director/CEO, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Owen Omogiafo; and Chairman, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Emmanuel Nnorom during the farewell dinner held for immediate MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Valentine Ozigbo and welcome party for Owen Omogiafo,the new MD/CEO in Abuja on Saturday

Transcorp Hotels Plc, the hospitality subsidiary of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) and owners of the award-winning Transcorp Hilton Abuja and the iconic Transcorp Hotels Calabar hosted a farewell/welcome dinner in honour of its immediate past Managing Director/CEO, Valentine Ozigbo who has been elevated to the role of the President/CEO of Transcorp Plc and Owen Omogiafo the current MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc.

The Black-tie event held at the Congress Hall of the prestigious Transcorp Hilton Abuja was indeed a night of farewells and welcomes as the outgoing and incoming General Managers of Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Etienne Gailliez and Kevin Brett were also celebrated. The glamorous event featured different presentations from Classical music, award presentations, and vote of confidence speeches from notable personalities who were present to honour these icons including Professor Charles Soludo, former Governor and Chairman of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Jan Van Der Putten, Vice President Operations, Africa and Indian Ocean, Hilton Worldwide, Professor Osita and Dr. Ogugua Ogbu, Alhaji Dikwa, Chief Collins Chikeluba, Former Director, Central Bank of Nigeria,  Mr. Anslem Tabansi, Sabi Bar-Noy, Chairman of Nairda, Iheanyi Nzekwe, Chairman, Teknokleen Group, dignitaries from the Diplomatic Communities and several CEOs and Captains of the industry.

Valentine Ozigbo in his appreciation speech alluded his excellence and success as the MD/CEO of Transcorp hotels Plc to his background and great mentors whom he served under their tutelage, according the highest accolades to the Chairman of Transcorp Plc, Tony O. Elumelu for years of mentorship. Speaking about his successor, Owen Omogiafo, Valentine said: “I couldn’t have found a better person to succeed me and I am confident that she will do better, I have seen her strong execution skills and I can attest that she will do even better than me.”

The Chairman of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Emmanuel Nnorom in his remarks appreciated Valentine for maintaining and deploying high-level of corporate governance and for driving positive transformation in Transcorp Hilton Abuja and Transcorp Hotels Calabar. He further charged him on the new responsibilities at Transcorp Plc and admonished him to carry on the good works. Speaking about Owen, he stressed her affinity with the vision and mandate of the Transcorp Plc group and expressed his confidence in her ability to take the company to enviable heights.

Owen Omogiafo in her remarks appreciated the immediate past MD/CEO, Valentine Ozigbo and the Hilton management team for leaving behind a solid foundation for her to build on.  “I am well aware that I am stepping into big shoes, but they are solid shoes and they have a strong foundation, I am also aware of the company’s responsibilities to all its key stakeholders and I’ll be working with the team members to execute them excellently.”

The event ended on a high-note as all present were serenaded with high-life tunes from one of Nigeria’s best musicians, Flavour.

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Microsoft 4Afrika partners FirstBank to support SMEs  

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On 18 January 2019, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, together with Microsoft 4Afrika, will host a free-to-attend event for SMEs in Nigeria, designed to promote technology adoption and skills development.

The event will serve as an official launch of the new partnership between Microsoft 4Afrika and FirstBank, following a memorandum of understanding signed earlier in June 2018. The partnership seeks to build the capacity of local SMEs andaccelerate their digital transformation, by providing them with exclusive and tailored non-financial solutions. Participants will be exposed to skills development resources, access to business networks and an educational platform.

According to Taiwo Shonekan, Head Customer Experience and Value Management, First Bank of Nigeria Limited: “This partnership with Microsoft enables us to deliver a portfolio of non-financial solutions to our SME customers. We have over the last 125 years supported SMEs in building their business, whilst contributing to the national economy. This partnership is a landmark step in our quest to leverage the influence of technology in businesses, especially in today’s digital age.”

“With this partnership, FirstBank customers can buy Microsoft products at discounted rates in the local currency – the naira – as this seamlessly aids technology adoption, skills and capacity development among SMEs in Nigeria,” she adds.

Amrote Abdella, Regional Director of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative and the keynote speaker for the event says: “For SMEs, integrating technology into their operations is no longer an option, but a necessity for future growth and success. We’re looking forward to engaging in discussions that explore how technology can extend reach to new markets and improve productivity, which results in better customer service, more competitive offerings and the ability to act with agility.”

Across the continent, Microsoft 4Afrika is forging partnerships with several players in the SME ecosystem – from banks to telcos – to enhance SME offerings and reach a broader audience.

“Technology and the relevant digital skills today play such an integral role in business success. We’re working with organisations to extend this support to as many SMEs as possible, ensuring not only their success, but the growth and competiveness of our continent in an increasingly digital world.”

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