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Dangote drags BUA Foods to Anti-Competition Commission over price-fixing allegation

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Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) has responded to the accusation of creating artificial sugar scarcity in a bid to increase price, an action DSR was alleged to have taken with rival, Flour Mill Nigeria (FMN).

The allegation was made on Monday, by another rival, BUA Foods, which stated that the market had contacted the company to find out if it was partaking in the artificial sugar scarcity.

BUA Foods said Dangote Sugar and FMN halted distribution of their products due to the coming Muslim period, Ramadan – a time demand for sugar rises, and revenue on the product follows same path.

Last year, the company, owned by Rabiu Abdulsamad, had also made similar accusation, also weeks going into the Ramadan period. And just like its denial in 2021, DSR is also distancing itself from allegation known as price fixing.

In a statement released on Thursday to the Nigerian Exchange Group, Dangote Sugar said the allegation was meant to mislead the customers because it hasn’t stopped the supply of sugar to the markets.

While refuting the allegation, which it described as false, DSR said the assertion may give an undue competitive edge to BUA in the market, “In compliance with the requirements of the Rulebook of the Nigerian Exchange Limited, DSR wishes to strongly refute the allegations and assertions in their entirety as these false allegations may mislead the market and may give an undue competitive edge to BUA.”

The company, owned by Aliko Dangote, also refuted blackmailing the government to review the denial of allocations to FMN, due to compliance issues. DSR expressed concerns on the constant accusations from BUA Foods, and has reported the firm to market regulator.

Read also: Dangote’s wealth declines, as South Africa’s Johann Rupert threatens his spot as Africa’s richest

“We believe this behaviour exhibited by BUA is worrisome and appears to conflict with the anticompetition rules. Last year, just before the commencement of the Ramadan (the Islamic holy month of fasting), BUA made similar false allegations against the Company that it was engaged in ‘price-fixing’ and not honestly pursuing the Backward Integration Project.” The statement from DSR reads.

According to Dangote Sugar, it has made a formal complaint to the Anti-Competition Commission on February 14, 2022, just as it did last year, “we await their actions to address the situation.” DSR stated.

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