Oil workers urge Tinubu to support Dangote refinery, probe IOCs

The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria have urged President Bola Tinubu to support the Dangote refinery and investigate the allegations by its officials that some international oil companies were plotting to sabotage the success of the facility.

In a letter dated July 1 and sent to the President through his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, the unions said they were “deeply concerned and shocked by the recent unusual allegations by the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals Company of a deliberate plot by some international oil companies to frustrate their business efforts and continued existence”.

The letter, jointly signed by the secretary of NUPENG, Olawale Afolabi, and his PENGASSAN counterpart, Lumumba Okugbawa, noted that the alleged sabotaging actions reportedly included denying the refinery crude oil supply and artificially inflating market prices of the crude oil to the company, thereby forcing the refinery to source crude oil from other countries, with attendant high operating costs and logistics.

Read More  140,000 children under 14 living with HIV

“The Dangote Refinery is not only a critical national asset but also a beacon of hope for our energy security, economic growth, and employment opportunities. The economic benefits of a local refinery with such capacity as the Dangote’s to Nigeria can never be overstated. This is why, for several decades now, NUPENG and PENGASSAN have campaigned vigorously that Nigeria should make it a pre-requisite condition for companies that want to benefit from JVC arrangements with Nigeria, to set up a refinery/petrochemical company in Nigeria.

“Unfortunately, no successive governments summoned enough political and patriotic courage to take that logical and pragmatic policy direction.

“The survival of companies that have braved it up and invested hugely in refining crude in Nigeria, thus, saving our nation from wasteful product importations that profit other countries and cost us foreign exchange, should be of great interest to us as a nation because of the enormous economic benefits involved,” the letter partly read.

The petroleum workers asked the Federal Government to set up an independent panel to investigate the claims of sabotage by some IOCs, saying this investigation should be comprehensive and transparent, ensuring that all parties involved were held accountable.

Read More  We Do Not Worship Idols In The Yoruba Culture

They also demanded public disclosure of the findings of the investigation to ensure transparency and maintain public trust, as Nigerians deserve to know the truth about the actions of the IOCs and their impact on national interests.

“Should the allegations be substantiated, we expect the government to take decisive legal action against the entities involved. This must include sanctions, penalties, and any other measures necessary to deter future acts of economic sabotage.

“The government should provide all necessary support to ensure the uninterrupted commencement and operation of the Dangote Refinery. This includes ensuring security and stability around the refinery’s operations.

“Your Excellency, we trust your courage and unwavering commitment to the Nigerian project and we believe that the Presidency will take decisive action to safeguard the Dangote refinery and ensure its successful operation for the benefit of our nation. Protecting our National assets is our collective responsibility,” they submitted.

Read More  Driver, motor boy killed in Ogun fuel tanker accident

The $20bn Dangote refinery located in Lekki, Lagos State, is expected to begin the sale of petrol soon.

The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said his refinery would stop the importation of refined petroleum products into Nigeria and Africa.

However, the company has raised concerns over the alleged refusal of IOCs to sell crude to the refinery.

“It seems that the IOCs’ objective is to ensure that our petroleum refinery fails. It is either they are deliberately asking for ridiculous/humongous premium or, they simply state that crude is not available.

“At some point, we paid $6 over and above the market price. This has forced us to reduce our output as well as import crude from countries as far as the US, increasing our cost of production,” The Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, stated recently.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *