By Fola James
Governor Dapo Abiodun-led of Ogun state has revealed how disagreement between Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote and a former governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun cost the gateway state a whopping $16 billion investment.
The investment, the governor said is the multi billion dollar petrochemical refinery that has now been cited in Lagos, and billed to take off anytime from now with the potential to employ thousands of skilled, semi- skilled Nigerians.
Dangote had earlier disclosed that the refinery would start production in 2021, but the timeline was later moved forward to 2024 after agreement with creditor banks.
Amosun was the governor of the state between 2011 and 2019. His failure to agree with Dangote, the modalities for establishing the refinery was said to have been the reason for relocating the industry.
Abiodun- said the Amosun-led administration should have been resolved the differences with the investor in the interest of the state.
The refinery, the governor said was conceived with the aim of refining petroleum products, as well as awarding mining lease with the state.
Abiodun spoke during the Convocation Lecture he delivered at thethe Mountain Top University with the topic, ‘Quest for Excellence: The Nexus of Faith, Knowledge and Resilience’.
The governor said he and his team as the chairman of the Olokola Free Trade Zone at a time worked tirelessly to ensure that the refinery was cited in the Gateway state as the state is well known.
According to him, “I worked as chairman of Olokola Free Trade Zone that was meant to have the Dangote refinery sited in Ogun Waterside, however, discussion broke down between Dangote and the then administration which led to the loss of that project to Lagos State; a $16 billion refinery was lost to another state.
“That project was conceived with the aim of not just refining petroleum in Ogun, but also take advantage of the mining lease that had been awarded around that corridor that has even not begun to be exploited.”
Going forward, Abiodun said, his government is working to ensure that the state become an oil producing state, as “we are working assiduously on that, so, I accept this challenge, we will further strengthen our resolve to ensure that we bring Ogun State to oil producing status in the very near future.”
“Ogun state is situated in the Dahomey Basin, which stands for the Niger Delta that goes all the way to Ghana.”
“Everyone of the states in that corridor are oil producing today, even Ondo and Lagos states,” the governor stated.
Meanwhile, watchers of the state said Governor Abiodun allegation is the latest in the squabble between him and his predecessor, since he came to office in 2019. Both politicians are members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC