In the vibrant tapestry of Nigeria’s business world, two of Africa’s most prosperous individuals, Aliko Dangote and Abdulsamad Rabiu, find themselves at the center of a fresh storm. Their sprawling corporate empires, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) and BUA Group have reignited a longstanding feud, rekindling a rivalry that spans decades.
Aliko Dangote owns the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa. With an estimated net worth of $16.1 billion as of November 2023, he holds the titles of the richest person in Africa, the world’s wealthiest black individual, and the 107th richest person globally. The founder of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, is Dangote’s principal rival in the sugar and cement sectors. With a net worth fluctuating between $3.2 billion and $8.2 billion, Rabiu has consistently vied for the position of Nigeria’s second-richest man and, more recently, climbed the ranks to become one of Africa’s top billionaires.
As the feud between Dangote and BUA continues to capture headlines and social media attention, the future remains uncertain. Whether this protracted battle will ever come to an end is a question that lingers in the Nigerian business landscape. Let’s take a journey into the feud between the Nigerian richest men.
Their battle for market dominance
The rivalry between Dangote Cement, the largest cement producer in Nigeria, and BUA Cement, its second-largest competitor with a market share of approximately 20%, traces its origins back to 2008. BUA Cement’s entry into the market marked the beginning of a fierce competition that soon began to erode Dangote Cement’s market dominance.
In 2020, the rivalry escalated when BUA Cement accused Dangote Cement of obstructing access to its limestone quarry in Edo State. Dangote Cement denied these allegations, and the dispute remains unresolved in the courts.
DIL accused BUA of sponsoring false reports
The most recent battle between these titans reignited when Dangote Industries Limited accused Rabiu of sponsoring false reports against Dangote and his businesses. DIL vehemently refuted allegations of illegal foreign exchange dealings and economic sabotage, cautioning against peddling such claims.
BUA Group, in retaliation, launched a scathing attack on Dangote, accusing him and his conglomerate of attempting to undermine BUA’s interests in the cement and sugar sectors over the years. BUA’s response also shed light on historical confrontations, including a bounced cheque episode and disputes over land for a sugar refinery project.
BUA accused of not investing in local sugar production
The rivalry transcends the cement industry and extends into the sugar sector, where both Dangote and Rabiu are significant players. BUA’s reduction of sugar prices from N5500 to N3500 sent shockwaves through the Nigerian market, further intensifying competition in this crucial sector.
Additionally, disputes have arisen over BUA’s compliance with the National Sugar Development Council’s backward integration policy, with Dangote and other competitors accusing BUA of failing to substantively invest in local sugar production.
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