Elevating Dangote above our collective Interest; How Dangote receives 80 percent of CBN Forex (The Gong Editorial)
As Nigeria continues to grapple with the effect of the economic recession that has crippled and made life increasingly unbearable for the teeming population of once upon a time Africa’s largest economy, there appears to be no end, to the continued fleecing of the economy through the Foreign exchange market by a clique within the country, prominent among whom is Billionaire businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
The situation with the Forex market in Nigeria today, have continued to take its toll, on the ordinary Nigerian and has further exposed the masses to the greedy and insatiable lust of these elements led by Aliko Dangote.
Over the past few months, there have been several attempts to make Nigerians believe, that the ordinary Nigerian traders, foreign Students and those seeking medical treatment overseas, have been responsible for the Forex scarcity in Nigeria. Whereas, what most Nigerians do not know has been the calculated attempt by these cabal led by Aliko Dangote, to manipulate public opinion in order to divert attention from the major forex scam, which has taken over the entire forex market.
Reliable sources at the Nigeria Central Bank, have hinted on how some cronies of the incumbent administration and Aliko Dangote, have been receiving approvals from the CBN to buy almost 80 percent of forex allocation from the interbank market for frivolous reasons such as the expansion of his businesses in other countries but then go on to use that approval to buy Forex from the official market through Form A. Form A is normally used for transactions like payment of school fees, medicals etc but what Aliko Dangote does, is to export the acquired dollars and roundtrip back to the country through shadow corporations based in Cayman Island, United Arab Emirates and some other African countries.
Recall that the current capacity of the man Aliko Dangote to milk Nigerians and masquerade as a successful business mogul and billionaire is not new. In the inglorious days of the Sani Abacha junta, this same Aliko Dangote maneuvered his way to becoming the sole importer of sugar in the country through a monopoly orchestrated by the Abacha junta. Often time, Aliko Dangote and his cronies in government have told lies and gave Nigerians the impression that Dangote is Nigeria’s biggest employer of labour. This is a monumental lie. Whereas the man Dangote employs some thousands of Nigerians in his various companies, the largest employment generating institutions in Nigeria are the ordinary working people who employ the teeming population of our people in various sector of the labour market, these are the operators of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), not the large industries operated by the Aliko Dangotes and their cronies.
The continued sales of about 80 percent of Nigeria’s forex to Aliko Dangote is no doubt, an orchestrated agenda of the governemt, to perpetually defraud Nigerians, while protecting a singular private business interest of Aliko Dangote. The Central Bank has continued to engage in this conspiracy to defraud Nigerians and sustain the unbearable hardship on small business owners, Students, Medical patients and others, who have genuine needs for the Forex.
Through the years, Aliko Dangote has been given countless number of government perks and gifts. This same man, has once had the three major Petroleum refineries in the country, sold to him at give-away prices. In fact, the Obasanjo government, claimed it was selling the refineries to Dangote group as “scraps” until the administration of late President Umar Musa Yar’adua reversed the sale of the refineries, after realizing that what was paid by Aliko Dangote for the refineries, were not even enough to cover the cost of spare parts, found to have been warehoused in the sold refineries. Till date, he has continued to enjoy import waivers on machinery and equipment, literally running its own private and unregulated sea port.
This continued action of the Federal Government, of allocating such huge amount of the nation’s Forex to one man, is frustrating not just other business competitors, but also other category of Nigerians.
When compared for instance, in countries where big corporations are government owned, and when its monopoly is enforced, this provides wealth to the State and gives enviable benefits to its people. But in the Nigerian case, like the masses are fools, the government invests in private individual pockets and forces the masses to patronize these exploitative profiteers to no personal benefit, except hearing names like Aliko Dangote, being listed in Forbes as the world’s top billionaires who made money from the milking dry and murder of the Nigerian masses.
On a final note, Nigerians need to begin to ask, who the government have been elected to serve? Is it the interest of one man and his family? A selected few who have access to the corridors of power? Or the entirety of our populace?
Are we truly operating a democracy? Time will surely tell.