Nigerian businessman and industrialist, Aliko Dangote, has reacted to the recent invasion of his company, the Dangote Group headquarters in Lagos by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In a statement obtained by Akelicious on Saturday, the Chairman of the Dangote Group expressed his willingness to collaborate with the anti-graft agency in helping with its investigations.
This news platform understands that the anti-graft agency is investigating Dangote Group over details of foreign exchange reportedly allocated to the company by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from 2014 to the present.
A prior report revealed that EFCC officials stormed the headquarters of Dangote Industries Limited in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday in furtherance of the ongoing investigation into the alleged abuse of the foreign exchange allocations by the immediate past CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
However, in an official statement released on Saturday, Dangote explained: “On 6 December 2023, we received a letter requesting details of all the foreign exchange allocated to our company by the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2014 to the present. We understand similar letters were sent to 51 other Groups of companies requesting for same information spanning the same period.
“We responded to the EFCC to acknowledge receipt of the letter whilst seeking clarification on the subsidiaries or companies within the Group that they required information on. We also requested additional time to compile and properly present the extensive documentation spanning ten years.”
According to him, “The EFCC did not provide the clarification sought and also did not honour our request for an extension and insisted on receiving the complete set of documents within the limited timeframe. Despite this constraint, we assured the EFCC of our commitment to providing the information and pledged to share documents in batches as we complete the compilation.
“On 4 January 2024, our team delivered the first batch of documents to the EFCC. However, officers of the EFCC did not accept the documents, insisting on visiting our offices to collect the same set of documents directly.
“Whilst our representatives were still at the EFCC’s office to deliver the documents, a team of their officers proceeded to visit our offices to demand the same documents in a manner that appeared designed to cause us unwarranted embarrassment. Worthy of note is the fact that the officials did not take any documents or files from our Head office during their visit as these were already in their office.
“We must emphasize that, to our knowledge, no accusations of wrongdoing have been made against any company within our Group. At present, we are only responding to a request for information to assist the EFCC with their ongoing investigation,” Channels Television quoted Dangote saying.
Despite the event that has generated a barrage of reactions among concerned citizens, Dangote assured that: “As a law-abiding and ethical corporate citizen, we remain committed to providing the EFCC with all necessary information and cooperation. We have already delivered the first batch of documents and are actively working to compile and submit the remaining documents, in good time, to aid their investigation.
“Our Group is a key contributor to the national GDP, the largest employer in the private sector, one of the largest groups listed on the Nigerian Exchange, and one of the highest taxpayers in the country. We remain steadfast in our belief in Nigeria’s commitment to the rule of law and its dedication to fostering an environment conducive for investment and value creation for both local and foreign investors.