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Dangote Reclaims Top Position On Forbes Africa’s billionaire List …… AS MAN Faults EFCC’s Visit To Conglomerate’s Head Office

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Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote has reclaimed his post as the richest person in Africa, according to Forbes Real-Time Billionaires.

Last week, South African business tycoon, Johann Ruper, took over the position from Dangote.

According to the ranking as of January 8, Dangote’s net worth improved by $10 million to $10.1 billion while Rupert’s net worth as of January 8 was $10 billion, down from $10.7 billion as of January 30, 2023.

Dangote, the head of Dangote Group is ranked 191st on the Forbes list, while Rupert is ranked 197th worldwide.

This is as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has faulted what it describes as an armed invasion of Dangote Industries Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in relation to the ongoing probe of forex allocation to 52 firms.

According to a statement signed by MAN’s Director-General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, the association said it received the news of the invasion of the Dangote Industries Limited by dozens of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission operatives with great shock.

The association noted that while it is not averse to the conduct of due investigations into the activities of companies, such inquiries should be done appropriately and devoid of the sheer brigandage that was seen on display.

The statement read in part, “What we understand is that it is part of EFCC’s ongoing investigation into forex allocations in the country. We believe it is within the remit of EFCC to do so.

“But the question is — what is the wisdom in security operatives swooping on the headquarters of a leading African conglomerate only to demand documents relating to the allocation of foreign exchange to the Group in the last 10 years? Is it that the company refused to respond to a request to present those documents?

“It is whether it will take an armed invasion by dozens of security operatives to get documents from a well-structured and identifiable company like DIL. We also understand that about 50 other companies are also been investigated, probably with a likelihood of receiving the same ill-treatment.”

MAN also pointed out that since there was no possibility of armed resistance by the company, there was no need to hurt the corporate image and disrupt the business operations of the company via a ‘Gestapo’ form of invasion

It added that the fact that the administration is currently actively engaged in activities aimed at attracting foreign investors should dictate a more circumspect and civil way to make enquiries and secure documents from existing/domestic operators.

MAN expressed worry that the news has gone around the world and may cause would-be investors to distance themselves from the company.

It advised the government agencies to exercise restraints and be mindful of the wider implications of their actions on the fragile business environment.

The statement read further, “It is important for the EFCC to take steps to clear the air on the negative interpretation being adduced to this action. This is necessary to reassure existing business concerns and encourage would-be investors.”

The PUNCH had reported that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday stormed the headquarters of Dangote Industries Limited in Ikoyi, Lagos, in furtherance of the ongoing investigation into the alleged abuse of the foreign exchange allocations by the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

The anti-graft commission is probing the alleged preferential allocations of forex to the Dangote Group owned by billionaire Aliko Dangote and 51 other companies under the Emefiele-led CBN.

In its response, the company said no accusations of wrongdoing have been made against any firm within its Group and that it is only responding to a request for information to assist the EFCC with its ongoing investigation.

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