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AMCON Discredit Dangote Refinery Takeover Report

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Dangote Refinery, Dangote Group Not On Our Debtors List-AMCON

By Lukmon Akintola

A report by an online news platform named Daily Focus (www.dailyfocus.com.ng) has been rubbished for reporting falsehood.

In the report, the platform claimed that the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is set to take over Dangote Refinery over debts owed banks by Dangote Group.

Daily Focus also reported that Dangote could forfeit the refinery over the said $7 billion debt burden with a possible takeover by AMCON.

The story which attracted a lot of reactions from industry stakeholders has however been rubbished by AMCON.

Head of Corporate Communications at AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, denied the claim by the news platform, saying neither Dangote Refinery or Dangote Group are on its debtors’ list, hence it couldn’t have plans to takeover its assets.

Further, Nwauzor said that the rumour that AMCON was planning to take over the assets of Dangote Refineries is false.

Multiple sources in the Dangote Group also described the report as “false and malicious”, as the company will seek redress in a court of competent jurisdiction.

In a discussion with www.theoctopusnews.com, Esan Sunday, Head of Media Unit for Dangote Group said: “Anybody that writes an unsubstantiated story should be ready to do the explanation in court, enough of these people sitting in one corner and writing falsehood. The platform is being sponsored and his sponsors should be ready to bail him and also pay his lawyer’s fees.

“These guys are very unfair. If you have a good and true story, nobody can harass you, but when you just sit down somewhere and conjure falsehood. It is just very unfair on a man that has used all his life building his empire.

“They are mean. He is on the run now, but he will eventually be found and charged to court because the story is just full of lies. He just conjured the story. They are just giving the media a bad name and reputation.”

AMCON had in 2010 purchased 12,743 bad loans worth N3.8 trillion from 22 Eligible Financial Institutions (EFIs) for a purchase price of N1.8 trillion.

According to AMCON, Dangote Refineries was not part of the bad debts that it took over and there was no way it would be taking over the assets of the company now.

Recall that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had recently approved the acquisition of 20 per cent minority stake by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the Dangote Petroleum and Petrochemical Refinery.

The move was commended as a positive one by stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.

Prof. Chris Onalo, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Credit Administration while reacting to the development said: “Oil and gas remains the major source of revenue for the government which requires massive investment in the sector.

“Dangote Group had made a huge investment that was needed to jumpstart the industry and therefore needed the support of all including the government.

“The refinery is an expression of massive confidence in the oil and gas economy of this country.”

On his part, Mr. Muda Yusuf, an economist and immediate-past Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said the Dangote Refinery was of strategic national importance.

He stated: “My views have always been that even though this is a private sector project, it makes both commercial and nationalistic sense for NNPC to express interest in it.

“This project has a good prospect to put an end to fuel importation and the associated leakages of public funds while also preserving our foreign exchange reserves.

“The proposal by NNPC to take 20 per cent equity stake in the Dangote Refinery is a move in the right direction. The reality is that the Dangote refinery is a project of significant and strategic national importance, even though it is promoted by the private sector.

“Taking a stake in the project also makes a great deal of business sense, especially given how far the project execution has gone and our heavy dependence on importation of petroleum products.

“It also makes both commercial and nationalistic sense for NNPC to express an interest in a project that has a good prospect to put an end to fuel importation and the associated leakages of public funds.”

The LCCI DG further said that the model being proposed with the Dangote refinery was similar in a way to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited’s model, which according to him, remains the best example of how government funds should be invested.

In the same vein, Mr. Wilson Opuwei, Chief Executive Officer, Dateline Energy Services Limited, said the approval was a step in the right direction for the country.

He stated: “It makes sense for the NNPC to invest in ventures that will bring returns to the company. Every business need good investments and this is what the NNPC is doing with the Dangote Refinery.”

He said that the refinery will ensure energy security as the Refinery is capable of meeting Nigeria’s gasoline requirements while generating revenue in hard currency from export of diesel, jet fuel, polypropylene among many others.

Chief Operations Officer, Dangote Oil Refining Company, Mr Giuseppe Surace, has been quoted saying that the refinery has been designed to process a variety of light and medium grades of crude, including petrol and diesel as well as jet fuel and polypropylene.

He said the refinery was billed to produce up to 50 million litres of petrol and 15 million litres of diesel a day, roughly 10.4 million tonnes of the product, 4.6 million tonnes of diesel, and 4 million tonnes of jet fuel yearly.

According to him, this is in addition to having a fertiliser plant, which would utilise the refinery by-products as raw materials.

The Dangote Refinery which is 90 per cent completed is a 650,000-barrel per day (BPD) integrated refinery project under construction in Lekki Free Zone of Lagos.

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