By Dipo Olowookere
A retired banker and serial investor, Mr Atedo Peterside, has accused the federal government of formulating policies that favour “a handful of well-connected persons” in the country.
The reputable and fearless entrepreneur on Tuesday said the federal government, which closed the country’s land borders in August 2019, has continued to allow the likes of Mr Aliko Dangote, to transport their products to neighbouring countries.
Recall that in June 2020, Dangote Cement announced that it has commenced the export of clinker, which is used to produce cement, to other African countries.
But Mr Peterside has asked why other legitimate importers and exporters are not allowed to use the land borders while Mr Dangote, who is the richest man in Africa, is given an easy access to the borders.
“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 Peterside
A few days ago, one of the companies owned by Mr Dangote, Dangote Cement Plc, released its financial performance for the first nine months of 2020.
In the brief analysis done by Business Post, the cement maker significantly grew its revenue to N761.4 billion from N679.8 billion and it was discovered that Nigeria contributed N535.5 billion to the turnover, while the contribution of its businesses in other parts of Africa stood at N232.6 billion.
In the period under review, the gross profit posted by Dangote Cement grew to N443.9 billion from N389.8 billion, while the administrative expenses rose to N40.0 billion from N38.4 billion, with selling and distribution expenses dropping to N119.5 billion from N122.0 billion.
In the first nine months of 2020, the profit before tax of Dangote Cement grew to N272.0 billion from N197.7 billion, while the profit after tax rose to N208.7 billion from N154.4 billion.
Business Post observed in the financial statements that in the full year ot 2019, Dangote Cement posted a net profit of N200.5 billion, indicating that despite the negative effect the COVID-19 had on businesses this year, the cement manufacturer had surpassed its 2019 profit in just nine months of 2020.
Since the closure of border over a year ago, many small and big businesses have been badly affected. There have been several calls to the federal government to re-open the borders, but the government has claimed the decision was taken to tackle terrorism and smuggling.
Culled From Business Post