Dangote Office Raid by EFCC May Dampen Investors’ Confidence—Lawmaker

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Mr Ikenga Ugochinyere Ikeagwuonu,  has said the invasion of the Lagos office of Dangote Group by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday was capable of worsening the economic situation and scaring investors away.

The EFCC on Thursday raided the headquarters of the Dangote Group in connection with an ongoing investigation into foreign exchange (forex) allocations associated with the former embattled governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele.

According to reports, operatives of the anti-graft agency arrived at the Lagos office of the company and demanded documents relating to the allocation of FX to the group in the last 10 years.

The EFCC officials spent hours scrutinizing the documents and would later leave with some of them.

Commenting on the issue, Mr Ikeagwuonu said raiding the company of one of the largest conglomerates in Africa at a time when the nation was grappling to save its fragile economy was a wrong move that would further erode efforts to stabilise the economy.

Mr Ugochinyere said, “This evening, I read about the raid of the headquarters of the Dangote Group in connection with an ongoing investigation into forex allocations in the country. The EFCC was reported to be investigating forex allocations to some companies during the tenure of Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”

He added that, “In the last few months, our nation has lost so many foreign investors. While some of the foreign companies operating in the country are leaving, potential investors are also sidelining us. Now you have the EFCC despite the word the nation is currently facing, raiding the headquarters of the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa.

“The Dangote Group, with investments in several sectors and across 14 countries in Africa. This is not a good look for us internationally. What will the international community think of Nigeria when they read about news like this? Dangote Group’s impact for decades has been felt through various facets of Nigeria’s economy,” the federal legislator said.

It was gathered that the EFCC had written to more than 50 companies directing them to supply documents supporting the allocation and utilization of foreign currencies to them in the last decade.

The EFCC letter to the companies was part of the ongoing investigation into alleged preferential FX allocations to individuals and organisations by Mr Emefiele.

The CBN has been accused previously of favouring and enriching some individuals and companies through the provision of cheap FX to them. Among the names mentioned in private circles is Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote.

In late December, a special investigation alleged that Mr Emefiele illegally lodged billions of Naira in foreign currencies in no fewer than 593 bank accounts in the United States, United Kingdom, and China without the approval of the apex bank’s board of directors and the CBN Investment Committee.

The Special Investigator on the CBN and Related Entities, Mr Jim Obaze, found that the ex-CBN governor allegedly lodged £543,482,213 in fixed deposits in UK banks alone without authorisation.

It was also claimed that the ex-CBN chief manipulated the Naira exchange rate and committed fraud in the e-Naira project.

Mr Emefiele is currently on bail for a series of allegations brought by the federal government relating to the handling of the central bank which he manned when he was appointed in 2014, before he was sacked by President Bola Tinubu in June 2023.


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