EFFC Dangote raid crashes Nigeria dollar bond one week – Bloomberg

Bisola David
Bisola David
EFFC Dangote raid crashes Nigeria dollar bond one week - Bloomberg

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission raid last week on the offices of Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person whose empire dominates the Nigerian corporate world, has caused Nigeria’s dollar bonds to fall.

According to Bloomberg, Nigeria’s dollar bonds maturing in 2025 have declined for seven consecutive days, the biggest losing sequence since September, indicating that investors are awaiting what happens next in the Dangote-EFCC episode.

Statistics show that the bonds are presently at their lowest prices since November 28, and the lack of market for Nigerian bonds gives a strong basis for the Manufacturing Association’s concerns that the EFCC raid on Dangote Lagos HQ on January 4, 2024 was poorly managed.

The anti-graft commission is thought to be focusing on the $18.5 billion refinery which was built by Dangote and was provided access to scarce dollars by the central bank to enable it acquire critical equipment.

Many industry leaders and investors have expressed concern about the raid and the investigating procedures.

“It’s basically a signal to the business community that this government will go after anyone who they perceive may have the means to help fill the dollar gap in the government’s coffers,” Cheta Nwanze of Lagos-based strategic consultancy SBM Intelligence said.

In Tinubu’s New Year’s Day speech, he promised to “remove any clog impeding our path to making Nigeria a destination of choice for domestic and foreign investments.”

Recall that Dangote opened a massive oil refinery in May 2023, just days before newly elected President Bola Tinubu entered office.

Tinubu was unexpectedly absent from the attending dignitaries, who included outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari and other heads of state, despite the game-changing role Nigeria believes the refinery will play in reducing its reliance on expensive imports.

On Jan. 4, Dangote’s offices were paid a high-profile visit by the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, as part of a wide-ranging probe into the former governor of Nigeria’s central bank and the foreign-exchange trades he oversaw.

The EFCC has yet comment officially on the raid.

Dangote Group said in a statement that it has faced no accusations of wrongdoing and called the incident an “unwarranted embarrassment,” after the presence of brightly-clad EFCC officers at its Lagos headquarters was splashed across local media. It has declined further comment and Dangote himself has remained silent in public.

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