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Dangote reveals Oil Mafia’s grip stronger than drug cartels



Dangote reveals Oil Mafia’s grip stronger than drug cartels

Dangote reveals Oil Mafia’s grip stronger than drug cartels


In a riveting speech at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings held in the Bahamas on June 12, 2024, business magnate Aliko Dangote shed light on the formidable challenges his refinery project in Nigeria faced from entrenched interests in the oil sector. Dangote, who is no stranger to overcoming obstacles, described his adversaries as an “oil mafia” more powerful than the notorious drug cartels, highlighting the intense resistance he encountered from both local and international criminal organizations determined to sabotage his ambitious project.

The Oil Mafia: Stronger Than Drug Cartels

Dangote did not mince words as he likened the oil cartels to a powerful mafia. “I knew there would be a fight, but I didn’t know that the mafia in oil is stronger than the mafia in drugs. It’s a fact,” he declared, emphasizing the ferocity and determination of those trying to maintain their stranglehold on the industry. These organizations, he revealed, employed a variety of tactics to derail his project, underscoring the significant threat they posed.

A Tough Fight from the Start

The billionaire industrialist recounted his journey, acknowledging that he was aware of the potential hurdles but was unprepared for the scale of the opposition. “They tried all sorts to stop me,” he said, “but I’m a person that has been fighting all my life. So, I think it’s part of my life to fight.” Dangote’s resilience and determination have been key factors in his ability to push forward despite the numerous challenges.

Sabotage and Resistance

Dangote’s refinery project, which aims to transform Nigeria’s oil industry and reduce the nation’s dependency on imported petroleum products, faced sabotage attempts that spanned various fronts. The oil mafia’s efforts to impede progress ranged from economic sabotage to attempts to discredit the project. “During the COVID period, some international banks were looking forward to pushing us into default on our loans so that the project would just be dead,” he revealed. However, with the support of institutions like Afreximbank, Dangote was able to weather these storms.

Western Interests and African Development

In his speech, Dangote also touched on broader geopolitical issues, asserting that the West is not invested in seeing a developed Africa. He suggested that the long-standing exploitation of the continent remains a priority for Western powers. “The agenda is to continue the decades-long exploitation of Africa,” he stated, emphasizing the need for African countries to unite and form partnerships that are mutually beneficial and focused on the continent’s growth and self-sufficiency.

The Role of Afreximbank

Dangote expressed his gratitude towards Afreximbank for their unwavering support during the critical phases of his refinery project. He pointed out that while some international banks were hoping to see the project fail, Afreximbank played a crucial role in ensuring its continuation. This support was instrumental in fending off the numerous attempts to derail the refinery’s progress.

Implications for Nigeria and Africa

Dangote’s refinery, once fully operational, is expected to have a transformative impact on Nigeria’s economy. It promises to create thousands of jobs, reduce the country’s import bills, and stabilize the local supply of petroleum products. Furthermore, it sets a precedent for large-scale industrial projects across the continent, demonstrating that despite significant challenges, African entrepreneurs can succeed.

A Call for Unity and Resilience

Dangote’s revelations serve as a stark reminder of the challenges that come with industrializing Africa. He called for unity among African nations, urging them to collaborate and support each other in the face of external and internal adversaries. “African countries need to come together to forge partnerships that will be mutually beneficial,” he emphasized. Such collaboration is essential for overcoming the systemic challenges that have long hindered the continent’s progress.

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