Olam Underlines Nigeria Commitment And ‘Categorically Denies’ Fraud Accusations

The agribusiness giant Olam has released a statement “categorically denying” the “baseless and inflammatory statements” that were made against it by two Nigerian newspapers over the weekend.

The Daily Nigerian and Prime Business had accused the Singapore-based company of foreign exchange fraud in Nigeria through the establishment of shell companies.

Olam, however, said today that it does not have a “network of shell companies” and that all subsidiaries are formed for “proper corporate purpose”, audited by Ernst & Young, the global accounting firm.

It further noted that the references to $50 billion and $34 billion allegedly defrauded by Olam are “manifestly inaccurate and designed to be misleading” as both figures are several times more than the company’s total turnover over the last 7 years.

“Based on the Olam Group’s audited financial statements, which are publicly available, the Olam Group’s cumulative turnover in Nigeria (including all export, import and domestic sales) for FY 2015 to FY2022 was US$14 billion in total, and for the same eight (8)-year period, the value of capital importations (via Certificates of Capital Importations) for the entire Olam Group in Nigeria was US$2.4 billion in total. The references in the news articles to “$50 billion” and the sum of $34 billion “funneled… under… capital importation” by Olam are thus manifestly inaccurate and designed to be misleading,” the press release said.

The company has been active in West Africa’s largest economy since 1989, noting that the “Olam Group has its origins in Nigeria”.

It is currently one of the largest employers in the country, with more than 4,500 people employed in wheat milling, pasta manufacturing, integrated feed milling and protein production, rice farming rice farming and distribution, tomato farming, catalysing local wheat production, sesame processing, cocoa, cashew and cotton exports and branded packaged foods.

It has over 21 manufacturing plants, directly benefiting over 140,000 farmers across the country, and plays an important role addressing food security challenges facing Nigeria.

The firm noted that Olam Nigeria has responded to various legitimate requests for information by the relevant Nigerian authorities, and will cooperate with any legitimate requests for information or assistance from relevant Nigerian authorities.

Olam Group employees are required to abide by The Olam Code of Conduct (“the Code”), under which they are required to uphold and comply with all laws and regulations.

“The Company treats with utmost seriousness any non-compliance with the Code by its employees and does not hesitate to take necessary action against any employee found in breach of it,” the press release said.


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