Oil mafia tried to stop our refinery, says Dangote

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The founder of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has revealed that both local and international criminal organisations, which he described as “mafia”, made repeated attempts to sabotage his $19bn refinery project located in Lagos.

Speaking at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings, Dangote likened the oil cartels to a mafia stronger than the drug mafia hell-bent on maintaining their grip on 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,” he said.

Dangote, who described himself as a fighter, said they “tried all sorts” to stop him.

“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 said.

He added, “As a matter of fact during the COVID period, some of the international banks really were looking forward to making sure that they push us into default of our loans so that the project will just be dead. And that didn’t happen with the help of banks like Afreximbank.”

Media reports that Dangote also revealed that he has paid off $2.4bn of the $5.5bn borrowed for the Lagos-based refinery.

Dangote also unveiled plans to diversify into the steel sector, aiming to utilise solely Nigerian-produced steel and achieve self-sufficiency.

Dangote Refinery recently rescheduled the launch of its petrol sales to July 10-15, pushing back its initial June target due to “minor” logistical issues.


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