… insists ‘no accusations of wrongdoing have been made against us’
…says ‘anti-graft agency’s action embarrassing’
Dangote Industries Limited, on Sunday, reacted to last week’s raid of its head office in Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes, describing the action as embarrassing.
The conglomerate, which pledged its readiness to assist EFCC in its investigations, said in a statement that it received a letter from the anti-graft agency on December 6, 2023, requesting details of all the foreign exchange allocated to it by the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2014 to the present.
The company’s management, which described the EFCC’s request as not peculiar to Dangote Group, said, “We understand similar letters were sent to 51 other Groups of companies requesting for same information spanning the same period.”
The Dangote Group claimed to have responded to the EFCC and acknowledged receipt of the letter whilst seeking clarification on the subsidiaries or companies within the Group that they required information on.
The company said it also requested additional time to compile and properly present the extensive documentation spanning ten years.
The management of Dangote Group added, “However, the EFCC did not provide the clarification sought and did not honour the request for an extension, and insisted on receiving the complete set of documents within the limited timeframe.
“Despite this constraint, we assured the EFCC of our commitment to providing the information and pledged to share documents in batches as we complete the compilation.
“On 4 January 2024, our team delivered the first batch of documents to the EFCC. However, officers of the EFCC did not accept the documents, insisting on visiting our offices to collect the same set.
Whilst our representatives were still at the EFCC’s office to deliver the documents, a team of their officers proceeded to visit our offices to demand the same documents in a manner that appeared designed to cause us unwarranted embarrassment. Worthy of note is the fact that the officials did not take any documents or files from our Head office during their visit as these were already in their office.
“We must emphasize that, to our knowledge, no accusations of wrongdoing have been made against any company within our Group. At present, we are only responding to a request for information to assist the EFCC with their ongoing investigation.”
The Dangote Group, which stated its resolve to continue to play its key role in stimulating the domestic economy, said, “As a law-abiding and ethical corporate citizen, we remain committed to providing the EFCC with all necessary information and cooperation. We have already delivered the first batch of documents and are actively working to compile and submit the remaining documents, in good time, to aid their investigation.
“Our Group is a key contributor to the national GDP, the largest employer in the private sector, one of the largest groups listed on the Nigerian Exchange, and one of the highest taxpayers in the country. We remain steadfast in our belief in Nigeria’s commitment to the rule of law and its dedication to fostering an environment conducive to investment and value creation for both local and foreign investors.”
The conglomerate, therefore, pleaded for the understanding and patience of all stakeholders, promising to inform them of any further developments.
EFCC has widened its investigations into the foreign exchange transactions during the tenure of former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
The probe also included other top companies which got forex at the official rate from the CBN. However, all the accused companies, including BUA Group and Flour Mills have all denied any wrongdoings in their communication to the EFCC.