Dangote’s Suit Against Ibeto is anti-competitive – FG
The Federal Government has described a lawsuit brought against Ibeto Cement Company by Dangote Cement as anti-competitive.
In the suit, Dangote is seeking the withdrawal of an import waiver granted Chief Ibeto by the Federal government. The suit also seeks to have Ibeto Cement Company refund billions of Naira to the Federal Government as unpaid taxes and import duties.
Also named as defendants in the suit in which Dangote Cement is the plaintiff are subsidiaries of Ibeto: IBG Investment Limited, Derima Ventures Ltd; Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finanace, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Board of Customs and Excise, Federal Inland Revenue Service and Nigerian Ports Authority.
In the suit Dangote alleges that Ibeto and his co-defendants colluded to give Ibeto companies an unfair advantage by reducing his tax exposure on bulk cement imports to 5% only. Dangote claims this contravenes a presidential directive issued on July 8th 2010 which ordered importers to pay 20% import duty and 5% Value Added Tax.
The plaintiff asked the court to order the Federal Government to recover the duties and taxes owed by Ibeto and to obtain a further refund of N 7.8 billion paid the company by the government as a result of an earlier court judgement.
The Federal Government in its counter affidavit has asked the court to dismiss the suit stating Dangote’s claims were “anti-competition and designed to control the entire cement industry and leave Nigerians at the mercy of the plaintiff’s (Dangote’s) price whims and caprices.”