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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Buhari’s Men To Shut Ibeto Cement, Halts Shipment of Cement For Unknown Reason



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Information available to 247ureports.com obtained from sources knowledgeable of the goings on within the Presidency indicate that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari may have knowingly or unknowingly approved the decision by his kitchen cabinet to halt the shipment of cement belonging to the Nnewi business mogul, Chief Cletus Ibeto, the Chief Executive Officer [CEO] of Ibeto Cement company. This is as 247ureports.com gathered that of the entire importers of cement in the federation, only Ibeto cement was halted from reaching the shores of Nigeria.

According to available information, an approval of yearly importation quota of 1.5million metric tons of cement was giving to Ibeto by the federal government of Nigeria. And as gathered, the company – Ibeto Cement had complied. However, with the arrival of the President Mohammadu Buhari led administration, the rules of the game changed midway.


The arrival inevitably struck the importation arrangement of Ibeto Cement with a bad fist. The policy makers of the Buhari kitchen cabinet quickly sought to halt the shipment of cement by Ibeto cement through means that appeared illegal or simply misuse of power. The President’s men took to the garnet when they got information that Ibeto Company had a shipment of cement on the high-seas making its way into the country. They immediately ordered the shipment be halted and not allowed entry into Nigerian ports.

As the managers of Ibeto Company inquired on the reasons for the refusal to allow the ship to dock, the kitchen cabinet of the President immediately searched the law books but could not give an immediate reasons or quote a law that supported its actions.  The CEO of the cement company, after lobbying for weeks to find out why the President’s men stopped his shipment, was told that the source of the money which he [Ibeto] used to import the said cement was not sourced from the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] – and so the shipment will not be allowed to offload in Nigeria.

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Cletus Ibeto & Aliko Dangote
Cletus Ibeto & Aliko Dangote

247ureports.com gathered however that the Ibeto Company had applied for foreign exchange from the CBN but were denied. The cement company then sought alternative means to gain access to the required foreign currency to make the purchases of which he had already be given a quota to supply. Through the company’s investments outside the country, they sought foreign currency to make the purchase. The shipment of cement was then thrown into gear for an estimated arrival to Nigeria by November 2015.

But the cement shipment was stopped. The stoppage of the cement, interestingly, coincided with the sudden drop in cement prices of the major cement supplier in Nigeria, Dangote Cement Company. A source who is close to the former administration pointed out that the stoppage of Ibeto was not without the influence of Aliko Dangote. “He has done it before during the Obasanjo regime and we are sure he is the one pulling the strings against Ibeto because he is afraid of competition from a south easterner” claims the source who also clarified that the present administration may have taken on the battle to reverse all the gains – both perceived and real – that the south easterner may have attained during the realm of the former administration.

The move by the Buhari administration comes following a new milestone scored by the Ibeto group – in its recent contract agreement with a China company to produce 6,000metric tons of Cement in Enugu State, south east Nigeria. Zhejiang Sinoma Engineering Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd had entered into a $368million with Ibeto Cement for 6000 tons of cement clinker production line from crushing limestone mining, cement raw materials to packaging, shipped to the whole process and a 45MW captive power plant, covering engineering design, equipment, steel and material supply, civil works, installation, commissioning and personnel training. Insider source acknowledge that the type of agreement is unprecedented in the mining industry in Nigeria. “It may threaten Dangote’s continued dominance in the industry”. Ibeto Company alreay operates a similar facility in Port Harcourt, River State. The Rivers State facility also produces 6000tons of cement.

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247ureports.com reached out to the presidency for comments regarding the stoppage of Ibeto’s cement on the high-seas. Both Femi Adesina and Shehu Garba were reached but only Femi Adesina responded. He indicated that he was not aware of such but directed that we check with the Ministry of Industry. The office of Ibeto Cement Company was reached out to but they were cautious with their comment. They chose to comment unofficially and confidentially. They made it clear that the CEO of Ibeto Cement Company was not ready or willing to confront the Federal Government over the legality of Buhari’s refusal to allow his consignment to dock in Nigeria. “He prefers to beg” said one of the workers at the company “rather than to confront the injustice” meted out on him.

There is no law in the Nigerian law books that Ibeto company have breached”, said a longtime politician from the south south region who claims to understand the underpinnings of the move to frustrate the business mogul from south east Nigeria who had been a financial supporter of the Jonathan administration. “They want to insinuate that he is one of the recipients of the money laundry scheme so that they can hang him like the others. But it would not work. We are here.” The south south politician was un-mistaken as he pointed squarely at the Buhari ‘cabal’ as an anti-south east and bigot minded group.

Presently, the status of the shipment of bulk cement stuck at high-seas remain unknown as the federal government allegedly appears determined and unrelenting in its determination at halting or/and deterring the business activities of Ibeto Cement Company.

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