Dangote and BUA are two of the largest conglomerates in Nigeria, and they are also two of the biggest rivals in the cement and sugar industries. The rivalry between the two groups is intense, and it has been playing out in the courts, in the media, and even on the streets.
Dangote Cement is the largest cement producer in Nigeria, with a market share of over 60%. BUA Cement is the second-largest producer, with a market share of around 20%. The rivalry between the two cement companies began in 2008, when BUA Cement entered the market. BUA Cement quickly established itself as a major competitor to Dangote Cement, and it began to gain market share.
In 2020, the rivalry between the two companies escalated when BUA Cement accused Dangote Cement of blocking access to its limestone quarry in Edo State. Dangote Cement denied the allegations, but the case is still ongoing in court.
On the other side, Dangote’s sugar refinery is the largest in Nigeria, with a market share of over 70% with BUA’s s following closely with a market share of around 20%. The rivalry between their sugar businesses began in 2014, when BUA Sugar Refinery entered the market. BUA quickly established itself as a major competitor to Dangote Sugar Refinery, and it began to gain market share.
In 2020, the rivalry between the two companies intensified when Dangote Sugar Refinery accused BUA Sugar Refinery of price-fixing. BUA Sugar Refinery denied the allegations, and the case is still ongoing in court. Fast forward to June 2023, BUA Sugar Refinery accused Dangote Sugar Refinery of sending thugs to attack its sugar factory in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. BUA Sugar Refinery alleged that the thugs destroyed property and injured workers. Dangote Sugar Refinery denied the allegations, but BUA Sugar Refinery has provided evidence to support its claims. The matter is currently under investigation by the police.
BUA has strongly denied the allegations that it is price-fixing or that it sent thugs to attack Dangote’s sugar factory. It accused Dangote of using its political connections to try to stifle competition, pointing out that Africa’s richest man has benefited from government favoritism over the years. For example, Dangote was granted a waiver on import duties for cement, while BUA was not.
The rivalry between both groups seems more intense since Tinubu’s administration kickstarted and it is likely to continue for many months or years to come. Both groups are powerful and well-connected, and they are both determined to win.
It is important to note that the allegations against both companies have not been proven in court. However, the fact that these allegations are being made is indicative of the intense rivalry between the two groups.