Contrary to general belief that Aliko Dangote became the richest man in Nigeria and Africa due to his massive investment and monopoly of the cement, sugar and flour market among others, this has perhaps only been a ploy to silently take the eyes of the people off his shady deals in siphoning the nation’s resources using companies he owns and controls by proxy in other to sustain his federal government influenced wealth.
In a classified memo with Ref. No. FMP/OPS/06/1 written by the Fmr. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on October 31st, 2017 and received by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 6th, 2017 and obtained by SecretReporters, Fashola nailed Dangote as a locust that has feasted on the telecom industry.
It was gathered that in 2006, Alheri Engineering Company Limited and Phase 3 Telecom Limited cunningly entered into a Fiber Network Concession agreement with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to monopolize the distribution of critical fiber optic infrastructures with a clause stipulating that a concession fee of US$40,000, 000 (Forty Million Dollars) each will be paid to TCN by the duo.
SecretReporters learned from the document that despite the fact that the facilities of the TCN are being used extensively by the duo in supplying telecommunication services to mobile network operators in Nigeria, the concessionaries (Phase 3 Telecom Limited and Alheri Engineering Company Limited) have refused to honour the agreement made with the TCN in the payment of the concession fee for eleven years which has accrued to over US$75,500,000 estimated to be over N27,180,000,000 (Twenty Seven Billion One Hundred and Eighty Million Naira).
However, findings revealed that in a well thought out scheme which no doubt was specially perfected by the gang to monopolize the market without any opposition from within and without, Engr. Joseph Makoju who signed the concession agreement on behalf of the National Electric Power Authority (TCN) as the then Managing Director, was employed in a dramatic twist as an Executive Director at Dangote Group; owners of Alheri Engineering Company Limited when his tenure as TCN MD expired. We are yet to ascertain if he is still working with Dangote Group in 2019.
In indicting Dangote, Fashola stated that “Engr. Joseph Makoju, who signed the Concession Agreement on behalf of NEPA(TCN) as the then Managing Director, is now an Executive in Dangote Group, owners of Alheri, and has signed letters on behalf of Alheri related to the Concession Agreement.”
Fashola also disclosed to the President that the former Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Aminu Diko who mediated between TCN and the concessionaries over the non-payment of the concession fee was before his appointment at the ICRC an employee of Dangote Group for several years. This according to sources has made the commission handicap over the non-payment of the debt owed TCN as the companies have been marked untouchable by the DG who is a loyalist of the king of vipers; Aliko Dangote.
Similarly, the Phase 3 Telecom Limited owned by Mr Stanley Jegede which was a mushroom company, rose to limelight and quickly obtained the Long Distance License (NFFL) after his father-in-law, Mr Cornelius Adebayo was appointed the Minister of Communications in 2016 by then President Olusegun Obasanjo. This Fashola noted as “a conflict of interest”.
Surprisingly, finidings also revealed that staff members of Alheri Engineering Company Limited are managed and paid by the management of Phase 3 Telecom Limited with plans afoot to acquire the former from Dangote Group which contravenes the agreement stated in the concession agreement.
Although the relationship that exists between Aliko Dangote and Mr Stanley Aderuyi Jegede is yet to be ascertained, it is believed that the move by the latter to acquire Alheri Engineering Company Limited may not be unconnected with the usual crooked practice of the Aliko Dangote dynasty to monopolize any market he invests in.
Fashola called on the President to “direct relevant government agencies (DSS, EFCC, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Communications, NCC, ICRC) to support TCN as it takes deliberate and reasonable steps to recover these critical assets of Government, without avoidable disruption to the third parties who rely on TCN’s fibre-optic network. These steps are essential for the stability, optimization and continued expansion of the national grid”
This practice of market monopoly by the brood of vipers led by Aliko Dangote according to financial experts has made Nigeria lose trillions of Dollars as commercialization of the fibre-optics infrastructure by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) will create a level playing field for investors in the telecommunication sector.
Fashola was recently appointed Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing. It is not clear if the memo to President Buhari indicting Dangote resulted in the removal of power from his former ministry.
Calls placed to the know mobile line
of the former minister of power were unsuccessful as he did not reply to the
message sent to him concerning the memo, the Group Head, Corporate
Communications at Dangote Group Mr Anthony Chiejina also declined comment on
the report stating that the case was still pending in court.