This is simply not how to build a nation: one rule for one man, and another for others. Shame to the Nigerian government. I have watched how some Aba manufacturers went under when Nigeria closed the southern border with Cameroon. I have seen how some Lagos exporters who see Togo as their markets struggled because of the same border closure. But here, Nigeria thinks only Dangote Cement deserves exceptions. Shame to these men who run this nation – they do not inspire!
Despite the border closure policy put in place, the Nigerian government has allowed Dangote Cement to resume cement export across its land borders. That exemption is being frowned at among the Nigerian business community with at least one major top Nigerian businessman voicing his concerns publicly.
According to Bloomberg, President Muhammadu Buhari‘s administration gave its authorisation for Africa’s biggest producer to export cement to Niger and Togo in the third quarter for the first time in ten months.
The revelations were made by Michel Puchercos, chief executive officer of Dangote Cement, on an investor call in Lagos, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
The news medium reported Mr Puchercos to have claimed that the development was made possible “through authorisation given by this administration.”
Although the reasons for the concession remains sketchy Monday evening, the new development raises hopes that Africa’s most populous nation may be opening up trade with neighbouring countries after a prolonged blockade.
Mr. President, open the land border. If you have opened it for Dangote Cement, you have to open it for ALL. We do not need authorization for the selected few, we want FULL opening for all. I support this message from the founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Atedo Peterside via a tweet:
“Allowing legitimate exporters & importers to move their goods across the border should be a no-brainer. Why refuse everybody else & allow only one company (Dangote)? This is why some of us argue that the Nigerian economy is rigged in favour of a handful of well-connected persons.”
Mr. President, I hope you are reading…this asymmetric manipulation and rigging of our economy is offensive and certainly unproductive. As you gave waivers to Dangote Cement, you put Ibeto Cement, Lafarge and others in a position of weakness. These are legal companies and Nigeria is expected to be open and fair to all. The fact is this: if not that the CEO of Dangote Cement revealed this in an earnings call, Nigerians would not have known of this waiver. You need to make amends because this is not how to run a nation. Period.