Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and his predecessor, Ibikunle Amosun have traded blames over the siting of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical Plant at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos State.
The refinery with capacity to produce 650,000 barrels per day which is owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote was inaugurated on Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari and four other African Presidents.
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Segun Sowunmi reportedly blamed the Ogun State Government for losing the siting of the behemoth Dangote Refinery to neighbouring Lagos State.
Interestingly, both Amosun, who was the Ogun State governor from 2011 to 2019; and Abiodun who has been the governor since 2019, attended the inauguration of the refinery.
The two politicians are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) but operate from opposing camps in the state with Amosun preferring another candidate over Abiodun who won his re-election in the March 2023 poll.
‘Amosun Frustrated Dangote’s Efforts To Locate Refinery In Ogun’
In a statement, Abiodun’s Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin said it is painful that the huge investment that should have accrued to the state was lost, especially when the mega project had been initially planned to be located at the Olokola Free Trade Zone, in the Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of the state.
“In truth, everyone knows that Segun Sowunmi is referring to the immediate past governor, Ibikunle Amosun, as the man who frustrated the efforts to locate the refinery in Ogun State.
“We are all aware that the penultimate administration made appreciable and concerted efforts to ensure that the Olokola deep sea port and other ancillary projects in the OKFTZ, become a reality, by rallying major players in the oil and gas sector, including Dangote Group.
“The present governor, Dapo Abiodun, served as the Chairman of the Committee on the Olokola Free Trade Zone projects during the first term of the immediate past governor,” the statement partly read.
Dangote Took Business Decisions – Amosun
However, Amosun, in a counter-statement by his media office signed by Bola Adeyemi, said the Olokola Free Trade Zone project was not solely owned by the Ogun State Government.
He noted that Dangote took a business decision by siting the refinery in Lagos after initial consideration for the Olokola Free Trade Zone.
“From its conception in 2007, it was a Joint Venture. The Federal Government of Nigeria owned the majority 51%, Ondo State Goverment (14.5%), Ogun State Goverment (14.5%), and strategic core investors (20%). Alhaji Aliko Dangote, according to the information availed us when we took office, subsequently bought, and took over the 20% equity of the core investors,” the statement partly read.
“Ogun State was a minority equity stakeholder only, without proprietary strength and capacity to take sole decisions on the Joint Venture enterprise.
“As mere holder of 14.5% equity interest, it is most uncharitable for anyone to churn out lies that Ogun State was in a position to unilaterally frustrate the project or was responsible for the logjam.
“With respect to all sides, it accords more with logic to appreciate the fact that Alhaji Aliko Dangote took business decisions of his own in accordance with the goals of his business strategy and risk assessment.
“No amount of concocted lies, blackmail and orchestrated falsehood will blight these unparalleled facts.
“It is, therefore, interesting to read that the present Ogun State governor holds me responsible for allegedly scuttling the Olokola project.”