DANGOTE Sugar Refinery PLC (DSR), a subsidiary of Dangote Group, has denied engaging in price-fixing or engaging in any Backward Integration Programme, as reported in some media, a statement from the management of DSR declared on Thursday.
In the statement which was made available to National Record, while denying the allegations DSR also asserted that they are false and “geared at tarnishing the good name and brand of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and Dangote Industries Limited.
“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 price of our food items or commodities during the Holy month of Ramadan in the history of our operations” said the Group Managing Director, Mr Ravindra Singhvi, who also added that the company is socially responsible and considers price-fixing to be unethical.
“Such allegation is highly mischievous and a calculated attempt to smear the reputation of DSR. DSR can only sadly conclude that the online publication is mischievous and geared at creating some form of undue advantage to some Industry players,” Mr Singhvi said.
According to him, the company began its Backward Integration Programme (BIP) with a 10-year sugar development plan, to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes of sugar per annum from locally grown sugarcane. The project, he said, commenced with acquisition of large expanse of land in strategic locations in Taraba, Adamawa and Nasarawa states.
The statement further asserted: “To this end, three BIP sugar companies; Dangote Taraba Sugar Limited, Dangote Adamawa Sugar Limited, Nasarawa Sugar Company Limited were incorporated,” the statement quoted Mr Singhvi to have stated, adding that the company had commenced rehabilitation and expansion of its Sugar Factory at Numan [in Adamawa State]. Sugarcane planting had commenced in the two other BIP locations.
“DSR has a responsibility to the Government, the good people of Nigeria and the Sugar Industry and all other stakeholders to protect the integrity of the Sugar industry and wishes to assure its stakeholders as follows: It will do all that is necessary to vehemently protect the integrity of the Sugar Industry, it is not engaged in price fixing and it encourages healthy competition amongst the players.
“DSR highlighted a matter (BUA’s operation of a Sugar refinery in the Free Trade Zone in Port Harcourt, exporting refined sugar into the Custom territory) which 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. DSR made this notification to the Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade & Investments bona fide, via its letter to the Minister dated January 28, 2021 asking the Minister to investigate the matter.
“We believe our action is in line with our responsibility as a major stakeholder to alert the supervising Ministry on activities that would derail the plan of the Federal Government in its drive to self-sufficiency in Sugar under the NSMP.”