Senator Ibikunle Amosun Responds to Accusations Regarding Olokola Free Trade Zone & Dangote Refinery

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Lagos, Nigeria – In a press statement released on Wednesday, 24th May 2023, through Bola Adeyemi, the media head of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, addressed the recent accusations made by Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Governor of Ogun State.

images 12 3 Senator Ibikunle Amosun Responds to Accusations Regarding Olokola Free Trade Zone & Dangote Refinery

The statement aimed to clarify the facts and dispel any misconceptions regarding the Olokola Free Trade Zone and the relocation of the Dangote Refinery from Ogun State to Lagos State.

Amosun began by congratulating Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the renowned businessman and owner of the Dangote Group, on the official commissioning of the Dangote Refinery at the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

The event, held on Monday, 22nd May, 2023, was graced by the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, and other dignitaries. Amosun expressed his delight at this significant accomplishment, acknowledging its importance for the country.

The media head then addressed the accusations made against Senator Ibikunle Amosun, emphasizing that since his tenure as Governor of Ogun State ended in May 2019, he had refrained from directly engaging in matters of policy or criticizing the successor administration.

The statement highlighted that the decision to respond to these allegations was prompted by the repeated dissemination of lies and half-truths, which, if left unchallenged, could be mistaken as facts by the public.

Regarding the ownership of the Olokola Free Trade Zone project, the statement clarified that it was a joint venture from its inception in 2007. The Federal Government of Nigeria owned the majority stake of 51%, while Ondo State Government and Ogun State Government held 14.5% each.

Strategic core investors accounted for the remaining 20% equity, which was subsequently acquired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote. The media office stressed that Ogun State was a minority equity stakeholder without the authority to unilaterally make decisions about the joint venture enterprise.

Senator Amosun proudly recounted the proactive and investment-friendly approach adopted by the Amosun administration in supporting the project. The appointment of representatives from Ogun East/Ogun Waterside Local Government, including Dapo Abiodun (now Governor) and Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, was done to safeguard Ogun State’s interests in the joint venture. After Adeosun became a minister, Lekan Onamusi, another individual from Ogun East, assumed the role of representing the state.

He emphasized that Ogun State engaged with the majority equity holder, the Federal Government, as well as the joint venture partner, Ondo State Government, to ensure the project’s success. Additionally, efforts were made to collaborate with Alhaji Aliko Dangote and facilitate the project’s realization.

To clarify the misconceptions, the APC Senator stated that Ogun State aimed for the reservation of 500 hectares of land for the host community, Ogun Waterside, within the Olokola Free Trade Zone. This proposition did not involve ceding the entire land to the community.

He further revealed that meetings were held involving prominent figures like former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale of Ijebuland, to ensure the project’s location in Olokola Free Trade Zone.

Reflecting on Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s tenure as Governor, Adeyemi praised the achievements of the administration.

The administration was credited with opening the doors to genuine entrepreneurs and investors, attracting a wave of private sector investments that led to the establishment of over 200 local and multinational industries in Ogun State. Under Senator Amosun’s leadership, Ogun State became a preferred destination for investors, earning the reputation as the Industrial Capital of Nigeria.

The state’s economy experienced rapid growth, outpacing the national average, and drawing the attention of then-President Goodluck Jonathan, who visited Ogun State on multiple occasions to commission significant private sector-led projects.

Adeyemi made it clear that no amount of concocted lies, blackmail, or orchestrated falsehoods could tarnish the undeniable achievements and progress made during Senator Amosun’s tenure. He challenged Governor Dapo Abiodun to provide factual evidence to support the allegations that Senator Amosun played a role in the relocation of the Dangote Refinery away from Ogun State.

The statement reiterated that as Governor, Senator Amosun would never have knowingly allowed any opportunity to slip past Ogun State and its people, and he acted in the best interests of the state to the best of his ability.

Concluding the press statement, Amosun expressed hope that the provided clarification would bring clarity to the subject of the Olokola Free Trade Zone and the controversy surrounding the relocation of the Dangote Refinery. He extended congratulations to the Dangote Group and Alhaji Aliko Dangote for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the successful completion of the refinery project.

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