Dangote petitions trade ministry, wants BUA Sugar Refinery shut down

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A major war has been raging in the Nigeria sugar industry for some time now and the bubbles seemed to have burst with Dangote’s decision to petition the Federal asking the Ministry of Trade to shut down BUA Group’s Sugar Refinery located in Port Harcourt.

In the letter dated 28th January, 2021 signed by Aliko Dangote himself as the Dangote Industries Limited, the billionaire claimed that when the BUA Sugar refinery was opened , he warned the and they told him that’ refinery would be allowed to operate in Nigeria’. Dangote accused BUA of operating with impunity by contavening the laws as laid down in the sugar by selling it’s products locally instead of producing for export alone.

BUA in its own defence sent to the Honourable Minister of Trade however clarified issues by stating that the allows it to sell inside Nigeria.

BUA also warned that and the other major player have not been involved in any backward integration project, rather they depend on 80% raw sugar allocation which is detrimental to the Nigerian economy in long term analysis. BUA on the other hand has been involved in backward integration project with BUA’s Lafiagi Sugar BIP set to be completed in 2022.
Over 250 dollars is believed to have been spent on the export focused BUA sugar refinery already and it is also employing over 1,000 Nigerians.

Meanwhile, BUA also noted that at the centre of this fight to force FG to close BUA Sugar refinery down is the price war.

Insiders said last year, before Ramadan, sugar sold for around 18,000 Naira per bag. But as Ramadan fasting started the price jumped to 30,000 per bag. The people had choice but to buy it because they needed a lot of it during the period. So the manufacturers were smiling to the . BUA group noticed the trend and decided that it had to change. There was reason to increase the price during Ramadan simply because the demand is high.

Usually the increase happens about one month to commencement of fasting.

When the other manufacturers got across to BUA, Samad Rabiu refused. They put pressure on him, saying it was the right time to good but he put his feet down.

After failing to do that, they petitioned the Federal that he was breaking the by selling sugar locally instead of for export.

A source however claimed that already, BUA group has dragged the Trade Minister to court to ensure that the operations of the sugar refinery is not tampered with all because of the desperate attempt by to monopolize the sugar trade in Nigeria

Our reporter has seen copies of the letters from Dangote to the Minister, the Minister’s letter to BUA as well as BUA’s reply to the Minister.