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Dangote Reveals ‘mafia’ Attempts To Sabotage $19bn Refinery Project

ALIKO Dangote, founder of the Dangote Group, has disclosed that both local and international criminal organisations, which he described as ‘mafia,’ made repeated attempts to sabotage his $19bn refinery project in Lagos. Speaking at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings in Nassau, The Bahamas,  Dangote likened these oil cartels to a mafia more powerful than drug cartels, intent on maintaining their control over the industry.

‘Well, I knew that there would be a fight. But I didn’t know that the mafia in oil, they are stronger than the mafia in drugs. I can tell you that. Yes, it’s a fact,’ Nigerian news outlet PUNCH Online quoted Dangote as saying.

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Describing himself as a lifelong fighter, Dangote recounted various attempts to derail his project. ‘But I’m a person that has been fighting all my life. You know, so I think it’s part of my life to fight,’ he added.

Dangote further explained that during the Covid-19 pandemic, some international banks aimed to push his company into default on their loans to kill the project. ‘And that didn’t happen with the help of banks like Afreximbank,’ he noted.

According to reports, Dangote has already repaid $2.4bn of the $5.5bn borrowed for the refinery in Lagos. Additionally, Dangote revealed plans to diversify into the steel sector, with the goal of utilising solely Nigerian-produced steel to achieve self-sufficiency.

The Dangote Refinery has rescheduled the launch of its petrol sales to July 10-15, citing ‘minor’ logistical issues that delayed the initial June target.

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