-Amaechi Ukeje

The Dangote refinery is a child of the frustration of GEJ and NOI after the gangsters ruling Nigeria today, including Sowore himself conspired to frustrate the then FG’s subsidy removal policy in 2012. That was after some members of the same gang had frustrated the sale of the refineries to private businessmen (which included Dangote and many southern businessmen, including Rivers and Lagos States government) by OBJ in 2007 by deceiving Ya’adua that the policy was skewed against the North, which made him to cancel it. That same gang at the same time also got same Ya’adua to pause the continuation of the implementation of the power sector expansion and reform program launched by OBJ. That singular pause had Nigeria leaving power plant equipments imported for the completion of works on eight new power plants and four expansion works on existing ones with billions of dollars of Nigeria’s money to rot at our ports for years and works on the power plants that have all reached advanced stages to be completely stopped. Substantial part of the $16 billion they deceived their gullible supporters that OBJ sunk into the power sector with nothing to show for it was actually sunk in building those plants and buying those massive power equipments. Yet Sowore and co never told us how the 12 power plants started by OBJ and completed by GEJ was funded and how the equipments that were abandoned at the ports in Lagos and PH from 2008 to 2011 were bought and paid for.

Apologies for the long digression. Now, after the subsidy scandal, the GEJ government invited some Nigerian investors that included Dangote, Otedola, Arthur Eze, etc and proposed a deal to them. This was after they had realized that the huge monies they were pumping into the government owned refineries were developing wings and flying away time after time. The deal proposed was to get their (investors) commitments to build refineries that will belong to them and exclusively run by them too with government guaranteed loans. The condition is that if the project fails at some point during the construction or after or the owner ever becomes unable to repay the loans, Nigeria will pay, take over the project and take necessary measures to recover any excesses in the already drawn part of the loan, that is if that happens before the project is completed and operational.

Only Dangote seriously bought into the idea and committed to it. The GEJ led FG then proceeded to help him secure an $11 billion dollars “syndicated loan” guaranteed by the FG from local and international lenders for the project that is being launched today. Tony Elumelu’s UBA was the biggest local member of the syndicated financial institutions that gave the loan and JP Morgan was the biggest in the international angle, followed by a French bank.

All these were not done in secret. Both Dangote and NOI were quite open to the press about how the loan for the refinery was packaged, the government’s role in it and the scope of the project from day one.

Buhari has nothing to do with that refinery as it started way before he came to power, except perhaps that he had the power to cancel the government’s guarantee given by the GEJ government and he didn’t.

Make Sowore go rest. That’s part of the many conspiracy theories about Dangote that fly about, propelled and fed into by mischievous hatchet jobbers like him whenever it suits them. He should know that we are not all gullible and idiotic folks with willful memory loss problems.

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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