Breach of contract: Reps issue Dangote 2-week deadline

Aliko Dangote

*Youth farmers demand N1bn damages

 

The House of Representatives has warned the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote and Dangote Rice Ltd to present himself before it on 27th of November or face the risk of being forced to.

The House expressed dissatisfaction over  what it said was the disrespect and disregard for its invitation by Dangote Rice Ltd to its hearing on a petition by a group of young farmers.

The lawmakers were miffed by the fact that no representative from the company showed up for the hearing despite  the official letter of invitation sent to the company.

The young farmers who accused Dangote Rice Ltd of breach of contract, intimidation and fraud and are seeking the assistance of the House for N1.1b damages incurred during the duration of the breached contract.

The youth framers in a petition by their counsel, Paul Ajiroba alleged that Aliko Dangote, through the officials of Dangote Rice Ltd agreed in 2017,  to partake and finance some aspects of rice production located at Ejiba in Kogi State.

Chairman, House Committee on Public Petition, Rep. Uzoma Nkem Abonta, who expressed disappointment at the non-appearance of the officials of Dangote Rice Ltd, said a second chance has been given in order for the claims by the young farmers can be addressed by Dangote Farms.

 

“Nigerians are concerned about youth unemployment and when efforts of youths are geared towards addressing the challenge by themselves, all we should do is to support them.

 

“We cannot say Dangote Farms is guilty of what the youth farmers said but they (Dangote Farms officials) have to come and present their own side of the story.

 

 

 

“They have to appear by 27th and 28th of this month to clear the air”, Abonta said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his presentation, Ajiroba said: “As times rolls by, the company agreed to partner with the youth by financially supporting them where both parties agreed on terms and conditions of the contract.

 

 

 

“Further meeting was also held at Obajana with Mr.D.V.G Edwin and Mr.Robert Coleman with the youth farmers’ leadership to seal up the project.

 

 

 

“The agreement by both parties was that the contract will last for two years which is renewable in order to empower the youth and reduce unemployment in Nigeria. Both parties also agreed that the rice paddy will be sold back to the company and the capital spent on the farm will be deducted before crediting the youth on the profit”.

 

 

 

According to Ajiroba, the youths started having misgivings, when officials of Dangote Rice Ltd started to stall the implementation of the contract as well as engaging in alleged fraud to the detriment of the project and the purpose of job creation and youth empowerment it was established for.

 

 

“After, several attempts the farm inputs and  cost implications for the success of the farming in the first season was sent to the management for financial mobility.

 

 

 

“But to the surprise  of the youth farmers, prices sent to the youth farmers was overpaid out of fraud and conspiracy by the officials of the company. For instance, the land rent  was sent by the youth farmers to the management of Dangote Rice Department was #11,000 per hectare and #550000  for 50 hectares was overpaid by the same officials of the Rice Department to Lower Niger River Basin at  the rate of #40,600 per hectares and two million thirty thousand Naira for fifty hectares.

 

 

 

“The attention of the management was drawn to this, but the management claimed it was a mistake on their part.

 

 

 

“Also, the same management overpaid for land preparation costing #19,000 per hectare but paid #29,000 per hectare to the contractor for fifty hectares also.

 

 

 

“The leadership of the youth farmers drew the attention of the management to the overpayment the second time, they still insisted that it was a mistake. At this juncture our client perceived fraud and conspiracy and decided to notify the higher authority in the company which is Mr. D.V.G Edwin but still no positive response from the company. Kindly find attached the receipts of the overpayment and letter written to Mr .D.V.G Edwin”.

 

 

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