Lagos, Jan. 9, 2024: The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has urged government agencies to be more circumspect and civil in making enquiries and securing documents from existing/domestic operators.
MAN Director General, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, made the call in a statement on Monday in Lagos.
The statement was in reaction to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Dangote Industries Ltd., Foreign Exchange Allocation saga.
The EFCC operatives on Jan. 4, embarked on a search mission to the head office of Dangote Group in Lagos.
The search followed the probe of 52 companies by the anti-graft agency over forex transactions in the last 10 years.
The commission is investigating forex allocations to these companies during the tenure of Godwin Emefiele as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Ajayi-Kadir said the call was to support the President Bola Tinubu administration’s current efforts to drive activities aimed at attracting foreign investors into the country.
He said news of the invasion of the Dangote Group head office by dozens of EFCC operatives was quite shocking.
He noted that while no company was above investigation, the appropriateness of the method to get documents from a well-structured and clearly identifiable company like the Dangote Group appeared somehow.
According to him, there is no doubt that this news has gone around the world and many, including would-be investors, will be taken aback and anxiously awaiting how the story will end.
“This may not be the best way to show that Nigeria is committed to good corporate governance.
“Because of the status of the Dangote Group within the Nigerian economy, Africa and the world, the outcome of this rather unfortunate incident may have great impact on how we are perceived as respecters of the right of business entities.
“Government agencies should exercise restraints and be mindful of the wider implications of their actions on our fragile business environment.
“I think it is important for the EFCC to take steps to clear the air on the negative interpretation being adduced to this action.
“This is necessary to reassure existing business concerns and encourage would be investors,” he said.