The newly commissioned refinery owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has resurrected the war between Governor Dapo Abiodun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Otunba Segun Sowunmi.
Below are their statements attacking one another over the refinery which was initially planned to be sited in Ogun State, but eventually moved to Lagos…
1. OTUNBA SEGUN SHOWUNMI,
PDP GOVERNORSHIP ASPIRANT 2023
DANGOTE REFINERY COMMISSIONED
Congratulations to Nigeria, Lagos State, and Alh Dangote on the commissioning of the Dangote Refinery!
I cannot but wonder what explanation Ogun State has for not housing that project that sits pretty within our Ogun Development Master Plan with Olokola Free Trade Zone in Ogun Waterside!
It is time to have a law that punishes economic sabotage occasioned by bad politics!
No one should be allowed to set back a state on the altar of winning an election, which more than likely has queried integrity.
No state can make a steady process if that nonsense is not punished to prevent a repeat.
The cost of maintaining Governors is way too huge a price to pay, only for the state to now carry huge consequences of their myopic tantrums.
A law must be enacted to review and punish this type of economic and development sabotage. Never again.
Thank God Dangote did not take the project outside the country, which would have provoked me beyond words.
No one must be allowed to be irresponsible at the expense of all of us.
Otunba Segun Showunmi
PDP Governorship Aspirant 2023
2. GOVERNOR DAPO ABIODUN,
GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE (APC)
23rd May, 2023
Abiodun not responsible for loss of Dangote Refinery to Lagos
Our attention has been drawn to a report credited to a PDP stalwart, Segun Showunmi heaping blames on the successive administrations in the state, for losing a N19bn Dangote
Refinery to the neighbouring Lagos State.
Any true born Ogun indigene will sincerely be pained by the huge investment loss, especially when Ogun had been marked as the most suitable natural location for the mega project in Olokola Free Trade Zone, in Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of the state.
As we are all aware, 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.
But, the successive government between 2011 and 2019, for reasons best known to it, killed the project and frustrated the promoter of Dangote Refinery out of the state.
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.
Governor Abiodun, as the chairman of the committee and a big player in the oil and gas industry himself, did everything possible to make sure the project saw the light of the day.
The then governor, perhaps, having a personal axe to grind with the promoter of the refinery project, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, frustrated all the efforts of Governor Abiodun and his committee.
The immediate Chairman, Board of Directors of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Mrs. Ronke Sokefun, who was then a commissioner, served as the Secretary of the committee, which engaged Dangote on the mega project.
Instead of showing enthusiasm towards hosting the project in the state, the former governor brazenly opposed and obstructed efforts of the Abiodun-led committee in ensuring that the OKFTZ came into fruition.
Having become governor in 2019, it is on record that Governor Dapo Abiodun had always rued the missed opportunity and he’d embarked on efforts in reawakening the OKFTZ. At different forums, the governor had made it known that the Olokola project is a gold mine waiting to be tapped by the state.
Apart from that, he has continued to shop for would-be investors to bring the project to life. His administration has not relented in bringing net-worth players in oil and gas as well as maritime, to ensure that the natural resources in OKFTZ such as bitumen, natural deep seaport, marine and natural gas are tapped for the economic development of Ogun State.
Even, before Aliko Dangote declared on Monday at the official commissioning of the refinery in Lagos, that Ogun was the next port of call, Governor Abiodun was already wooing Dangote to reconsider the Gateway State.
Conclusively, Governor Abiodun-led administration can never be held either directly or vicariously responsible for the loss of Dangote Refinery. All Ogun State indigenes know the administration that worked against the economic development of the state, all in the name of bad politics and shenanigans.
Rather, Governor Abiodun’s government should be applauded for working to revive OKFTZ.
Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Dapo Abiodun
3. SENATOR IBIKUNLE AMOSUN,
FORMER GOVERNOR OF OGUN STATE & CURRENT SENATOR REPRESENTING OGUN CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT (APC)
RE: Olokola Free Trade Zone & Dangote Refinery
Our attention has been drawn to a press statement by Prince Dapo Abiodun, Governor Ogun State, where he accused Senator Ibikunle Amosun as being responsible for why Ogun State lost hosting the Dangote Refinery to Lagos State.
1. On Monday, 22 May, 2023. I was privileged to attend the official commissioning of Dangote Refinery, Lekki Free Trade Zone by Mr. President, H. E. Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. I congratulate my brother, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, GCON, on this significant accomplishment for the larger benefit our Country. I also congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, and the good people of Nigeria on this momentous occasion.
2. Since my tour of duty as Governor of Ogun State statutorily ended in May 2019, I have refrained from directly engaging and very rarely joined issues on any matter of policy undertaken by our government or the successor administration. The logic is simple: even if one were to stand right before a 10-storey building, a congenital liar and unrepentant pessimist will still indulge in selective amnesia and see nothing.
3. But, when lies and half truths are churned out so repeatedly and unashamedly, without being challenged, the innocent public may begin to reckon with such concoctions as the gospel truth. Hence, I am making this exception. It is my hope that this will be my final word on the Olokola Free Trade Zone and the Dangote Refinery Lagos relocation debacle.
4. Let me put it straight: The Olokola Free Trade Zone project was not solely owned by Ogun State. 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. Ogun State was a minority equity stakeholder only, without proprietary strength and capacity to take sole decisions on the Joint Venture enterprise.
5. I am proud to put on record for posterity that the brouhaha and misconception about the true and full ownership of the project became confused for reasons of the proactive and investment-friendly disposition of our administration. Ogun State, under my leadership, went beyond and above duty and did all we could to ensure that the project saw the light of the day. As Governor at the time, I appointed two (2) carefully chosen stakeholders of Ogun East/Ogun Waterside Local Government extraction to represent Ogun State’s interests on the joint venture enterprise and advise the State. These were Dapo Abiodun (now Governor) and Mrs Kemi Adeosun, then Commissioner for Finance, who incidentally hailed from the host Community of the Olokola project. After Mrs. Adeosun was elevated and became a minister, another son of Ogun East, Lekan Onamusi, took charge and represented Ogun State on the Joint Venture.
6. Based on the advice of our representatives on the project, we engaged the majority equity holder, FGN and our joint venture partner, Ondo State Government, who were very responsive and eager to have the project in Olokola Free Trade Zone. We also vigorously engaged Alhaji Aliko Dangote and did everything possible to make the enterprise take off. A total of 10,000 hectares of land was made available. 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.
7. Our position was that, at the minimum, 500 hectares from the Ogun State portion be reserved for the host Community, Ogun Waterside, as against ceding the entire land of the Olokola Free Trade Zone. Indeed, at some point and at my instance, our revered Elders, Baba Olusegun Obasanjo and Kabiyesi Awujale, Oba Sikiru Adetona were involved, where we all met to ensure that the project was sited in Olokola Free Trade Zone.
8. Looking back to my time in Ogun State, I remain immensely grateful to God and the good people of our State for the opportunities availed us. Our records of achievements remain incontrovertible. We opened the State to genuine entrepreneurs and investors, which led to the influx of massive private sector investments. We also paid serious attention to the security of lives and properties. Over 200 industries, both local and multinational, birthed in Ogun State. In a particular year during our time, 75% of the entire National FDI in the real sector birthed in Ogun State so much so that President Goodluck Jonathan saw the need to visit to commission significant private sector-led projects at least five (5) times. Ogun State, under my watch, was indeed investor-friendly, and investors’ destination of choice as Ogun State literally became the Industrial Capital of Nigeria. Ogun State’s economy, at the time, grew faster than the national average. No amount of concocted lies, blackmail and orchestrated falsehood will blight these unparalleled facts.
9. It is, therefore, interesting to read that the present Ogun State governor holds me responsible for allegedly scuttling the Olokola project. For the benefit of the good people of Ogun State, Nigerians and posterity, we challenge him, particularly as he was then the chairman appointed to oversee and ensure that the project was sited in Olokola Free Trade Zone, to disclose with facts, where he or the Administration was remis, and which might have led to the project being moved away from Ogun State.
10. The only thing I can recall that the government insisted on, was that, about 500 hectares must be set aside and protected for the benefit of our people in Ogun East, and in particular,the host community, Ogun Waterside.
11. As Governor, I would never have knowingly let any opportunity slip past Ogun State and its people. I did my best to the satisfaction and conviction of my conscience.
12. As I conclude, it is my hope that this intervention will give clarity to the vexed subject of the Olokola Free Trade Zone and the relocation of the Dangote Refinery controversy.
13. Once again, I congratulate the Dangote group and Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the hard work, dedication, and commitment to the results that we all saw on Monday.
14. Thank you.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Media Office.
24 May, 2023