11 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – A group known as Niger Delta Youths Leaders Administrative Council, NDYLAC, has threatened legal action against Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, for siting his proposed oil refinery in Lagos instead of the Niger Delta region where crude oil for the refinery would be coming from.
The group, which described the refinery project as “anti-Niger Delta”, said it would use every legal means to resist the decision to site the project in Lagos.
A statement signed by Mr. Magnus Uche and Mr. Pobewei Abie, Chairman and Secretary of the council, maintained that with a whopping US$18 billion already sunk in the laying of subsea oil and gas pipelines alone to connect the raw materials from the region to Lagos, the project would deny the unemployed youths more than 5,000 jobs, thereby increasing the rate of poverty in the region.
“We will take every legal action to ensure that Aliko Dangote rescinds his decision of siting the billion dollar refinery in Lagos. Our people have suffered untold hardship over the years and this cannot be allowed to continue.
“The intention of Dangote in collaboration with the Nigerian government to deny us of another opportunity of improving the economic situation of the Niger Delta by taking the refinery to an already developed Lagos State, is unacceptable and we will vehemently resist the decision in any way legally possible,” the group said in the statement.
The group expressed fears that if Dangote, who they alleged has not done much in the Niger Delta in terms of industrialisation, was allowed to go ahead with the construction of the refinery in Lagos, it would be to the disadvantage of the Niger Delta.
“Unemployment will increase while poverty escalates. We need more refineries in the Niger Delta. The Kaduna refinery was supposed to be built in Benin in 1974 but they took it to the north,” the group alleged.
“The $18 billion Dangote refinery can afford us five to six functional refineries in the Niger Delta region. It will create over ten thousand jobs and thereby improve the living standard of the region in general,” it also stated.
NDYLAC berated former President, Goodluck Jonathan, who, according to them, laid the foundation for indigenous refinery but failed to take advantage of the opportunity by ensuring that such projects were located in the Niger Delta.