Inauguration of the multi-billion dollar Dangote Refinery ]has sparked fresh controversy in Ogun State, Daily Trust reports.
The $18.5 billion monumental investment was to be sited in Ogun State before it was moved to its present location in the neighbouring Lagos State.
Shortly after the inauguration of the project on Monday, some stakeholders in the state rued loss of the project to Lagos.
Segun Showunmi, governorship aspirant of PDP in the 2023 election, blamed the loss on “bad politics.”
He called on a law “that punishes economic sabotage occasioned by bad politics.”
Showunmi in a statement he personally signed said “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.”
He congratulated Aliko Dangote and the Lagos over the refinery, saying “Thank God Dangote did not take the project outside the country, which would have provoked me beyond words.”
In a swift reaction, Governor Dapo Abiodun said he was not responsible for the loss of Dangote Refinery to Lagos.
He said it was a disagreement with former Governor Ibikunle Amosun and the business mogul, Dangote, that cost Ogun to lose the monumental project to Lagos.
Our correspondent reports that Abiodun was the Chairman of the Committee on the Olokola Free Trade Zone projects, at the period when the project was lost to Lagos State.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abiodun admitted serving as the chairman of the committee and “did everything possible to make sure the project saw the light of the day.”
“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 governments 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 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.
“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.”