The Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Friday, appealed to the Nigerian Navy to mobilise its personnel for the security of his newly established refinery located at Lekki, Lagos State.
Dangote, who made this appeal when he met with the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, at Naval headquarters in Abuja, said the appeal became important sequel to growing insecurity in the maritime sector of the country.
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According to him, the refinery, being the largest single line in the world, would attract a lot of operations and activities, the development he said would drive away pirates from Apapa to Lekki.
He said: “I am here to look for a partnership between Dangote Group and the Nigerian Navy.
“There are a lot of things we can do between the Navy and the Dangote Group. I think we can be two hands while we can clap together.
“It means that you, do your own beat, we will also do our own beat to support you and make sure you do your job.
“It doesn’t really mean only what affects us, No! But also what affects the Navy in terms of your own operation. Maybe your facilities.
“My main other point is the setting up of the permanent Naval protection base at our refinery.
“As you are aware, we are building the largest single refinery with 650,000 barrels/day which means we can actually process one-third of Nigeria’s production, and that is quite a lot of activities.
“When you look at the services of the refinery, we are going to be the largest single line of refinery in the world.
“That’s a very huge operation. There will be a lot of movement of ships in and out and there is no way we can succeed on what we want to do without the help of the Nigerian Navy.
“Definitely, we have to partner, you will be our major partner because there must be peace, there must be security and protection before we can even operate.”
Reacting to the request, Vice Admiral Gambo took the business tycoon through the operations of the Force, while lamenting the continued activities of Sea pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
Gambo said: “One of the most teething challenges we have is the issue of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Sometimes, the issue of maritime security, in particular, the issue of piracy is hefty for the international community.”
Daily Trust reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had, on Tuesday, said it is planning to borrow $3.8 billion to actualise its agenda of acquiring a 20 per cent stake in Dangote Refinery.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, who disclosed this, said the money would be borrowed from financial institutions.
He said some financial institutions had already agreed to fund the acquisition, while the debts would be paid back from the NNPC’s earnings from dividends and profits accruing from its investment in the fuel plant.