A battle for ownership of vast limestone deposits in Kogi state is raging between the Dangote Group and cement rival BUA Group, with the Dangote management accusing BUA of stealing billion dollars worth of limestone belonging to it.
But, the management of BUA International Limited has denied the allegation, saying it was part of a plot by the Dangote Group to “out-muscle” it out of business.
According to Dangote’s Executive Director, Devakumar Edwin, the BUA group had led armed gangs to the limestone site, which it owns in Kogi state to deplete and exhaust the reserves to sabotage Dangote Group’s legitimate investment.
“It is, therefore, appalling that BUA Group, in the midst of these overwhelming facts, will still want the public to believe that Dangote Group is after its business, when, in actual fact, BUA has been the one mining illegally in Dangote Mining Lease and attacking its officials without any justification,” he said.
Edwin accused BUA of coming like a thief in the night armed to illegally steal limestone deposited in its Mining Lease No. 2541, located in a boundary town of Oguda/Ubo, in Okene, Kogi state
The matter is already pending before the Federal High Court, Benin Division
“Dangote Group validly acquired its interest and mining title in the disputed Mining Lease No. 2541 from AICO Ado Ibrahim Company Limited, sometime in 2014. AICO itself had applied to the Mining Cadastre Office and Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for the said Mining Lease No. 2541 located in a boundary town of Oguda/Ubo in Okene Kogi State in 2007.
“The Ministry in exercise of its power under the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 granted and issued to AICO ML. No. 2541 for the renewable period of 25 years effective from 1 February 2008 and to expire on 31 January 2033. Thus AICO, by virtue of the said grant, became vested with the legal title over ML. No. 2541. In 2014, the Dangote Group approached AICO and indicated interest in acquiring AICO’s stake in ML No. 2541. In 2014, AICO in exercise of its right under the Mining Act, applied to the Ministry for the transfer of its title in the ML No. 2541 to Dangote Group. AICO and Dangote Group equally paid all the transfer and statutory fees demanded by the Ministry,” Edwin said.