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— Allegation, a blatant lie, says Dangote will one day volunteer fact on project

Dayo Johnson Akure

Former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has cleared the air on the reason why the $16 billion Dangote Refinery was relocated from the state to Lagos state.

Dr Mimiko maintained that the relocation of the refinery was not because he demanded personal gratification from the business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

The original master plan of the project was birthed at Olokola Free Trade Zone in Ondo State with all agreement and implementation strategies in place before the sudden relocation to Lagos state.

Recall that Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state has also explained how a disagreement between former governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun and Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, cost the state the $16 billion Dangote refinery.

Mimiko said this in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Digital Communications, Mr. John Paul Akinduro made available to newsmen in Akure, the state capital.

He denied that the project was relocated to Lagos because he demanded for “personal gratification from the businessman over the project.

Mimiko described as falsehood, untrue and unfounded the reports being peddled around about his involvement in the relocation of the refinery project, but expressed optimism that Dangote will, one day, volunteer facts on reasons why the project was relocated to Lagos.

He denied demanding any personal demand, cash or kind, or receiving any personal gratification for the location of the project in Ondo state.

The statement reads “reports of the oft-repeated falsehood about Aliko Dangote opting out of the Olokola FTZ for his refinery project, owing to an alleged demand for personal benefit by Dr Olusegun Mimiko has been brought to our notice.

“We state that this lie is totally reprehensible. That otherwise informed people are repeating the utter falsehood is sad.

“We state for the umpteenth time that Mimiko did not make any personal demand, cash or kind, or receive any personal gratification that led to the location of the factory in Lagos instead of Olokola.

“Again, this allegation is a blatant lie and we hope that Alhaji Aliko Dangote will, one day, volunteer facts on why he chose Lagos over Olokola.

Dangote Refinery was initially meant to be set up in the state before it was later moved to Lagos State under the immediate past administration under unclear circumstances.

Recall that governor Dapo Abiodun
expressed disappointment that the state lost a $16 billion Dangote refinery to Lagos State after a break in discussion between the immediate past administration and Dangote

He said he had the privilege to work as the chairman of the Olokola Free Trade Zone that was meant to have the refinery cited in the state and said the project was not just conceived with the aim of refining petroleum products only but to take advantage of the mining lease that had been awarded around the corridor.

Abiodun said, “I worked as chairman of Olokola Free Trade Zone that was meant to have the Dangote refinery cited 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.”

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