Dangote, BUA row over Edo mining sites deepens
The dispute between Dangote Group and BUA Group over mining sites in Edo State came to the fore again on Monday and appears to have taken a turn for the worse.
The two companies, in their statements sent to our correspondent, laid claim to ownership of the mining sites located in Obu, Okpella, Edo State.
The Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin, said in 2014, the Dangote Group and AICO entered into an agreement for the transfer of 2541ML from AICO to Dangote.
He said, “AICO thereafter applied to the Ministry of Mines for the approval of the transfer vide a Mining Lease Transfer Form dated July 11, 2014.
“In 2016, the Ministry of Mines wrote to the Dangote Group to convey the approval of the ministry for the transfer/assignment of 2541ML from AICO to Dangote Group with effect from February 3, 2016.
“Following the approval of the ministry, the Dangote Group became the legal holder and owner of the Mining Lease No. 2541ML. The 2541ML Certificate was thereafter endorsed to reflect the transfer from AICO to the Dangote Group.”
Dangote Group warned the general public and those working with BUA Group not to take any steps to enter, mine or interfere with the disputed mining leases.
BUA, in a statement, dismissed Dangote’s claim to the mining sites as “frivolous”.
The statement said, “The Dangote Group alleged that BUA claims to have been granted its mining licences from the governor of Edo State.
“In this regard, it is imperative to note that BUA has never contended that the governor of Edo State granted its licences, as the authority to grant a mining licence is within the sole jurisdiction of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development through the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, which granted the BUA licences.
“We wish to state clearly that the mining licence granted to Dangote Group explicitly states that the location is in Kogi State, Nigeria, while the BUA licences and mining sites respectively cover and are located in Obu, Okpella, Edo State, Nigeria.
“The Dangote Group’s attempt to lay claim to mining sites not within a geographical area covered by its licence is therefore ludicrous.”