The Ogun State Government has recalled the circumstances that led to the loss of the $16 billion Dangote Refinery and Petrol Chemicals to Lagos, saying it was basically due to break down in discussions about the Olokola Free Trade Zone project that was meant to have the refinery sited in Ogun Water Side. Governor Dapo Abiodun, who disclosed this during the Convocation Lecture he delivered at the 2nd and 3rd convocation ceremony of the Mountain Top University with the topic, “Quest for Excellence: The Nexus of Faith, Knowledge and Resilience,” said the project was originally billed to be sited in Ogun State.
He pointed out that a breakdown in the discussion between the state government under his predecessor, Chief Ibikunle Amosun, and board and management of Dangote Group resulted to the mouth watering billion dollar project being moved to Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos state.
According to him, having such a project in Ogun state would have been a game changer for the economy and its quest to gaining the status of an oil producing state in Nigeria. To him, the target then was to use the Dangote refinery not only for refining petroleum products in Ogun State, but also taking advantage of the mining lease that had been awarded around that corridor but yet to be exploited to make the state attain the oil producing status. Abiodun, however, disclosed that his administration was working assiduously and around the clock to make Ogun state become an oil producing state in Nigeria and join Lagos and Ondo states in that league. The Ogun State Governor said: “I want to thank you for the challenge you have given me. I indeed feel challenged. But let me mention here that it was not a coincidence I come from the oil and gas background. “That was what I did before I became the Governor of Ogun State.
I was also the Chairman of the Committee of Oil and Gas in Ogun State when my predecessor assumed office. “I worked as the Chairman of the Olokola Free Trade Zone project that was meant to have the Dangote refinery sited in Ogun Water Side. “However, decisions broke down between Dangote management and the then administration in Ogun state, which led also to that project given to Lagos State, a $16 billion project to another state? “That project was conceived not within just refining petroleum products in Ogun State but also taking advantage of the mining leasing that have been awarded around that corridor that are not yet to be exploited.
“We also know that we have very good rich oil reserves in Tongragia Island around Yewa corridor.” Abiodun added: “Ogun State is in what we call Dahomey basin, which is a basin that starts from the Niger Delta and goes on to Ghana. Every one of the states in that corridor are all oil producing today even Ondo State and Lagos State. “So naturally, Ogun state will become oil producing state and we are working assiduously on that so I accept this challenge, which will further strengthen our resolve to bring Ogun State to oil producing state in a very near future.”