Thursday, January 5, 2017

Magufuli refutes fabricated reports about Dangote

In early December last year, President John Magufuli met the owner of Mtwara-based Dangote Cement plant, proving wrong the widely fabricated claims that there was a dispute pitting the government against the investor. Billionaire Alhaji Aliko Dangote travelled from Nigeria to Dar es Salaam to sort out the mess, which was mainly exacerbated by wicked people bent on frustrating the project for personal interest. During the talks at State House in Dar es Salaam, Dr Magufuli assured the investor that his administration will continue creating favorable environment for all investors in the country to catalyze industrialization drive. He said there has never been any problem with the Mtwarabased cement manufacturer as recently reported in the media, accusing people bent on dubiously benefiting from the coal supply business of engineering the destructive information. The president assured the investor that he will directly procure the natural gas from the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) instead of sourcing it from middlemen. "You should always consult the government in case you face any problem or you need any information instead of using people who are after profit making,” said Dr Magufuli, explaining that Mr Dangote had requested for land but dishonesty people wanted to cash in his demand by selling him a plot for 43bn/-, which the president described as pure greed and unfair. 

President Magufuli gestures as he makes a point before the owner of the giant cement plant a Nigerian national Mr. Dangote standing on his left during press briefing in Dar es Salaam last year.

Mr Dangote dismissed as trash the recently widespread media reports that he had closed down the cement plant due to the government ban on the importation of coal, saying, “It does not make sense because Tanzanian coal is not only cheap but also of high quality.” He confirmed that the company has 600 trucks for cement distribution in the country, adding that apart from conducting business in Tanzania, he also intends to generate more jobs for Tanzanians. The investor said it was commercially illogical for him to import raw materials, which are readily available in the country, assuring the president that he remains committed to working with the government and has no plan of closing the cement plant. Recently, the Dangote Cement Chief Executive Officer, Mr Harpreet Duggal, dismissed as false and malicious reports that it had suspended operations due to exorbitant production costs. He instead attributed the temporary production halt to technical problems of the plant’s units, saying the company engineers were working hard to repair the fault parts to have the plant resuming production soon. Meanwhile, President Magufuli had earlier swore-in the newly appointed Njombe Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Christopher Ole-Sendeka, who is taking over from Dr Rehema Nchimbi whom the president has transferred to Singida.

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