The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has said that the state lost the opportunity to host the $18 billion Dangote refinery because the immediate past governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun had a personal axe to grind with Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
The immediate past governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun, had appointed Abiodun as the Chairman of Olokola Free Trade Zone, the former proposed site of the refinery.
Abiodun stated this in a statement while reacting to an allegation made by a stalwart of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Segun Showunmi, accusing the governor of being responsible for the loss of the refinery to Lagos.
The governor in the statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin in Abeokuta on Tuesday, accused the Amosun-led administration of killing the project by frustrating the promoter of the refinery.
Abiodun said, as the chairman of the committee and a big player in the oil and gas industry he did everything possible to make sure the project saw the light of the day.
The governor insisted that the state lost the multi-billion project to Lagos because Amosun “had a personal axe to grind with the promoter of the refinery project, Alhaji Aliko Dangote” which according to him frustrated all his efforts.
“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, 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.
“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.
“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 to 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, and 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,” the statement read in blaming Amosun for the loss of Dangote Refinery to Lagos State.