By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi
Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC (DSR) is aware of an online publication claiming that the firm is engaging in price-fixing and is not honestly engaged in any Backward Integration Programme as claimed.
The firm vehemently refuted the allegations and assertions in their entirety, describing them as false allegations geared at tarnishing its name and brand. A statement from the company’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Ravindra Singhvi said: “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.” He also added that his organisation is socially responsible and considers pricefixing 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,” he said. Mr. Singhvi said that the company began its Backward Integration Programme (BIP) with a 10-year sugar development plan, to produce 1.5 million MT per annum of sugar from locally grown sugarcane.
He said: “The project commenced with acquisition of large expanse of land in strategic locations such as Taraba State, Adamawa State and Nasarawa State. “To this end, three (3) BIP sugar companies; Dangote Taraba Sugar Limited, Dangote Adamawa Sugar Limited, Nasarawa Sugar Company Limited were incorporated.”
The firm, he stated, had commenced rehabilitation and expansion of its Sugar Factory at Numan, adding that: “Sugarcane planting has also commenced in the two other BIP locations.” According to him, the company has a responsibility to the government, the people of the country and the sugar industry and all other stakeholders to protect the integrity of the industry.
He assured its stakeholders that: “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.”
He 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,” said he in the statement