Unveiling! How Government Allegedly Killed Oriental Foods for Dangote Takeover… His Interest in Dairy Industry may Force Peak Milk others out of Nigeria
Africa’s richest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote is without doubt a very influential man in Nigeria, his influence has seen governments formulate policies to accommodate his interest. It is therefore a regular and consistent occurrence for him to be accuse of using his acquired influence especially among the government to curry favorable advantage for him and his company to the disadvantages of others unfortunate to venture into a business he’s having interest, this has worked adversely as his alleged business interest was fingered as the reason a thriving business suddenly go bankrupt.
Sources revealed the whole issue stated in 2019 when the Group Executive Director of the Dangote Group, Engr. Mansur Ahmed announced during an African Development Bank (AfDB) Investment Forum for the New Special Agro-Processing Zones in Abuja that the company will be going into dairy farming and that the company will be going into large-scale dairy farming. Which invariably means Dangote Group will be rubbing shoulders with companies producing milk and other dairy products in the country.
This announcement the source revealed was just like the proverbial witch that howled the preceding night and a healthy child dying at day-break, as a couple of months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) immediately in the first quarter of 2020 making a policy banning some companies from dairy product industry from importing milk, dairy products into the country with immediate effect. This brought in its wake the shutdown of Oriental Foods Ibadan the makers of ‘Luna Milk’ forcing the company to layoff its staffs and thereby adding more to the already huge unemployed Nigerians.
According to sources within the company the decision of the CBN means our employer and others that are excluded from the 5 companies that can still import can no longer compete in the dairy industry and thereby leading to the shutting down of the operations, though unconfirmed report says the said Oriental Foods has been acquired by the Dangote Group, thereby giving it the necessary equipment to launch its dairy lines anytime it so chose.
It is important to note that the Aliko Dangote led organisation has always being facing criticism for his ruthless use of government influence to crush competitors in nearly all the industry its operates, this industry watchers claimed is being put in motion when the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono at a press briefing to commemorate 2020 World Food Day celebration, said that any form of importation of milk and dairy products will be banned completely by 2022, a time sources claimed will have seen the promised Dangote dairy farm investment announced in 2019 reach its maturity stage since cattle growth to lactation take about 18months.
It is important to note that Aliko Dangote’s younger brother Sani who also serves as the Vice President of Dangote Group had at a time through his Dansa Group tried his hands on dairy business with his Ziza Milk, though all attempt by his elder brother controlled bigger company to acquire his products and production which includes Dansa Juice and Mowa waters was rebuffed, the new investment in the dairy industry may be a signal to relaunch Ziza and other dairy products.
Dangote Group has been at one time or the other at the receiving end of accusation of using unethical practices in their many running battles with companies in different sectors of the economy, they are at different times being accused of using government and its agencies to stifle competition, a practices that will be detrimental to the growth of national economy in the nearest future.
Most prominent among their fight for total dominance is the fight for market price control in the cement industry with the Abdul Samad Rabiu led BUA Cement, there has been accusations of sponsored attacks among the two over who controls the price of the product in the market.
The Africa’s Richest man’s company had also had silent battles in the past over dominance with companies in the sugar business against BUA Group, pasta and many more, his recent interest in the milk and dairy industry may be the death of more companies and a very long battle with others who had been in the industry as far back as independence.