THE MONOPOLY CALLED DANGOTE Today's focus is on the fate of rice and milk …



Today's focus is on the fate of rice and milk consumption and production in #Nigeria – a middle income nation rapidly divorcing itself from the ideals of a market economy thanks to the effect of a horrendously inimical nepotism and favoritism of the country's President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) towards Africa's wealthiest man, Aliko Dangote and the implications of such grave callousness in the nation's economy.

For a breakdown, Nigeria's local rice consumption currently stands at a staggering 6.9 million metric tonnes (MMT) annually. Her efforts to meet this demand locally, though impressive, have been quite inadequate at 3.7MMT (even though some exuberant claims peg the deficit at 10%). As for dairy (milk) production, only 40% of the nation's demand is covered by the 585,000 tonnes of milk produced annually but the government in an unreasonable defiance to elementary economics has placed a ban on the importation of rice and a restriction on foreign exchange provision for the importation of milk.

The ban and restrictions, though harsh would have been one of the bitter pills Nigerians have to swallow for the wellness of her economy had PMB not revealed through his actions, the reason behind the decision as simply to arrogate all of such importation powers to Africa's richest man, #Aliko #Dangote, his old time friend and the apron string of Nigeria's economy thus slamming out all forms of competition with the sledge of monopoly.

For a nation which gives unrestricted FX access to uneconomic ventures such as religious pilgrimage and claims to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (#SMEs), the decision by the government is a classic example of economically destabilizing monopolization borne out of nepotism which must be condemned in its entirety. In the face of the ban, the present inability of the nation to comfortably meet her rice and dairy needs would only create a scarcity that naturally drives prices up and such monopolization only tends to position Dangote as the chief reaper of such cruel benefits at the expense of millions of Nigerians put out of business.

As it appears, Mr Dangote's (whose company has a reputation for road recklessness in Nigeria) is on an insatiable quest to continually top the wealth list through amoral and unethical practices and this must be decried even if the nation's president who is expected to use his power and influence to ensure economic equity appears to be a shameless boot-licking accomplice.

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