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The Truth Behind Nigerian Government Vs Ibeto Cement

When President Obasanjo encouraged local production of
cement,the Manager of Ibeto cement factory promised to flood
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
Obasanio kicking against the authority the federal government
Ibeto granted to import 800,000 metric tons of cement.
Fomer 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 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 to the only cock that
crows in Nigeria.
But Ibeto further filed terms of settlement, which were entered as
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 didnt concern them. It
aveered 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 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 products in Nigeria, with a large capacity to store over
60,000 metric tons, and is located at the Apapa Warf and the Ibru
Jetty Complex in Lagos, Nigeria.
President Buhari came into power.
Ibeto Company applied for foreign exchange from the CBN but was
denied. Dangote applied and was granted. He has continued to
enjoy all manner of waiver.
Like Dangote did during the Obasanjo regime , he was said to have
approached his Fulani brother. Buhari banned lbeto cement
because they are afraid of competition from a south eastern lgbo
man who comes from the wrong part of the country.
They know that lbeto has the ability to overthrow Dangote as the
richest man in Africa and he must be stopped by all means.
Fllowing the closure of lbeto cement by Buhari, the prices of
cement jumped from N1,500 to N 2,500 and Dangote is smiling to
the bank.
Ibeto’s account is frozen. Dr.Cletus lbeto has been arrested
several times, questioned by security agencies, harassed,
humiliated and intimidated.
There is no law in the Nigerian law books that Ibeto company has
breached.
What then is his crime? Is it because he is lgbo?

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