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How CJMR Has Championed Restoration of Justice to Unjustly Incarcerated, Condemned – Founder, Olujobi

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By Eric Elezuo

“At CJMR, we stand firm on our scriptural foundation: ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice…,” Pastor Olujobi 

Most citizens of the world are endowed with milk of human kindness, and are ever ready to lend a helping hand to folks in need, either for cash or kind. One of these citizens is a Nigerian of special breed, filled with compassion and zeal to assist wrongfully detained persons to regain their freedom. He is Mr. Hezekiah Olujobi, who is leading the fight against wrongful detention and elongated detention without trial with his Non-Governmental Organization, the Centre for Justice, Mercy and Reconciliation (CJMR).

The CJMR as stated, is NGO dedicated to promoting human rights and advocacy within the Nigeria Correctional Service and strengthening the rule of law in Nigeria Criminal Justice System, according to the Founder, Mr. Olujobi.

“Our area of focus are Advocacy, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Investigation, Cases review, Rehabilitation of individual upon freedom and Restorative Justice in Criminal Matter,” he added.

The CJMR as an organization, was established in 1999, and was officially registered in 2009. It has since then accumulated an enviable and proven track record of facilitating the release of individuals from death row, some of whom had been unjustly incarcerated for 18 to 28 years.

“Additionally, over 600 inmates have been freed from illegal detention after 4 to 12 years without trial. The organization has also established a Halfway Home that has benefited over 300 individuals.

“Our activities cut across the Correctional service in South West: Oyo, Odun , Ogun and Lagos States. We still have over 100 cases for intervention including 10 people on death row whom we strongly believed they are victims of wrongful conviction,” Olujobi stressed.

Hezekiah Olujobi, also known as a Pastor, for his vocation as a preacher of the gospel, who is the founder of CJMR, is currently working on two books to project the work of the organization so far.

The first, “Their Stories Behind Bars,” is a collection of narratives from individuals wrongfully sentenced to death and how the organization helped secure their rrlease, while the second book, “Their Hurts and Unforgettable Memories,” delves into the stories of victims and offenders, exploring their deep hurts and the healing process through restorative justice.

The following stories below as told by Pastor Olujobi, carefully epitomizes how far the NGO has gone to put smiles on the faces of individuals, who have otherwise lost hope of ever living their lives among free people again

Olaniyi Emiola’s Wrongful Conviction: My Belief in His Innocence

Olaniyi Emiola was sentenced to death based on witness testimony that was a case of mistaken identity. The armed robber apprehended at the crime scene insisted he was not the person being referred to and claimed he did not know Emiola at all. However, one of the victims, who recognized Emiola by the name “Abija,” insisted that he was the culprit. Emiola was known in the streets as “Abija,” not “Niyi,” yet the robber mentioned a “Femi Niyi,” not “Abija.” The man in question is Olaniyi Emiola, not Femi Niyi. During the trial, it was claimed that the robber identified the house of their leader to them, who is known as Abija,

In this controversial case, the conclusion of judgment of my noble lord, Hon Justice Jimoh of the Tribunal Court, was as follows:

“It is our considered judgment that the discovery of the second accused in the house pointed out by the first accused to the prosecution, and the discovery of the stolen items in the house shown to the police by the first accused, are admissible and well taken. Referencing R. v. Garbett (1847) 2 C & K 474 and R. v. Treacy (1945) 30 CAR 93, with these authorities in view, the second accused has been properly identified and linked with the commission of the crime charged.

Since the prosecution has adduced sufficient evidence to place the second accused at the scene at the material time, his alibi defense is logically and physically demolished.

This was established by the Supreme Court in the cases of Patrick Njovens vs. The State (1973) 5 SC 17 at 65 and Christian Nwosisi v. The State (1976) 6 SC 109 at 112.

It is my considered judgment that since the defense of the second accused has failed and, by the acceptable evidence of the prosecution witnesses, the accused has fallen into the warm embrace of the law, and I so hold.

SENTENCE: OLANIYI EMIOLA – The sentence of the Tribunal upon you is that you be hanged by the neck until you are dead or suffer death by firing squad, as the Administrator of this State may direct. May the Lord have mercy on your soul.”

This was the judgment that sent a man to darkness and anguish, leaving him to await execution in a solitary cell for 11 years without the right to appeal, luckily for him, the abolition of execution was announced in Nigeria.

Reprieve came when we visited Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in 2007. We investigated the matter by analyzing the entire judgment and all the contents of the case file. We took up his case, amplified his voice of innocence, and refuted all the arguments in light of the existing facts recorded in the judgement.

Olaniyi Emiola was finally set free in January 2011, after 17 years had been wrongfully taken from his life.

One can only imagine what would have happened if execution had not been abolished in Nigeria.

CJMR’s Advocacy visit to the Oyo State Attorney General

The organisation has also taken its advocacy to the Attorney General’s office in Oyo State, and achieved certain parameters as represented in the narrative below:

“On Wednesday, March 20, 2024, the Committee for Centre for Justice Mercy and Reconciliation (CJMR) conducted an advocacy visit to the office of the Oyo State Attorney General. The purpose of the visit was to highlight the plight of numerous inmates who have been denied justice and are enduring the prolonged anguish of indefinite trials for capital offenses.

The primary goal of the visit was to bring to the Attorney General’s attention specific cases of individuals who appear to have been wrongfully accused of capital offenses and have been languishing in detention since 2015 without legal advice. Additionally, there are those who have been repeatedly taken to the High Court since 2017 without the prosecution presenting a single witness.

In a recent development on March 18 and 19, 2024, the Oyo State Chief Judge, Honorable Justice Iyabo Yerima, visited the custodial centers in Ibadan and Oyo. She firmly resolved not to address any capital offense cases, maintaining her stance throughout the jail delivery exercise. Consequently, 32 inmates were released from Agodi and 38 from Oyo, totaling 70 releases from facilities that house 1,250 and 827 inmates, respectively. The data clearly indicates that a significant proportion of detainees charged with capital offenses remain unaddressed.

Pastor Olujobi further noted that “During the CJMR’s visit, seven recommendations were proposed to enhance the efficiency of justice delivery by the Attorney General’s office, and a list of 32 individuals awaiting legal advice was submitted.”

The Attorney General, known for his humility and activism, pledged to collaborate with the CJMR.

He further acknowledged that “It is a profound injustice for individuals, even those apprehended with substantial evidence, to be detained indefinitely, risking the degradation of evidence and waning interest or resolve of witnesses. The slow turn of the justice system’s wheels can erode its very foundation.

“Similarly, it is an injustice for an innocent person to endure punishment due to procedural delays or inefficiencies.

The presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a fundamental principle of democratic societies, yet it is undermined when the process to establish innocence is plagued by excessive delays. The time for change is now.

Olujobi is also of the view that “The judiciary must move beyond a confessionary-based approach to prison decongestion and focus on those unjustly detained for capital offenses.”

From Darkness to Light: The Unraveling of Injustice and the Triumph of Freedom for Olusola Adepetu after 26 years behind bar

In this scenario, the police conducted a comprehensive investigation, and the defense attorney performed admirably. However, despite these efforts, the judge appeared to succumb to public pressure, reminiscent of Pontius Pilate’s historical decision, resulting in Olusola Adepetu being wrongfully sentenced to death.

Tragically, this miscarriage of justice led to the loss of 26 years of Adepetu’s life.

The appellant, a native of Ondo state was 34 years old at the time of his arrest, a father of 4 children with a broken home.

He was the owner of Olusola Naturalist Hospital. He was a Guru in herbal traditional-medicine, very popular with radio and television advertisements.

He cures all manner of ailment, he was a highlife socialite, he was a member of special marshal of Federal Road Safety Commission, due to the nature of his work as herbal traditional medicine healer he was highly connected with people in high places who always patronized him and in the world ravaged with deceases people always throng his office to seek healing for their ailments.

He is not a medical doctor but always referred to as Doctor Olusola.

All of a sudden, the light of his fame and popularity went off, he was enveloped with thick darkness. For a good 26 years he never walks under the moon nor is beaten by rain.

What happened?

His girlfriend was murdered in a mysterious way, three days later, her dead body was recovered by the police at the Express way, Sanyo, Ibadan and deposited at mortuary in Adeoyo state Hospital. Who must have done this?

Nobody knows till today. The relations who were in the shop of the father of his girlfriend who saw him when he came to pick the deceased and the bar man who saw him the previous day with the deceased pointed touch light on him.

Upon his arrest, rumors went round the whole city like wildfire and consumed the heart of men, same Radio and Television stations where his advertisements were being jingled, announced his arrest, all kinds of rumors went round the city, his case became a celebrated case.

He was consumed by the public adverse opinion.

With all kinds of rumors, the death of the lady was attributed to ritual killing, some said he cut the breast of the lady, some said he cut her private part for the ritual purpose.

At every court adjournment the whole court room and the premises will always be filled up with people. The case attracted the public interest. Like Pontius Pilate, the judge has no choice than to deliver the innocent man as a sacrificial lamb not for the world but for his likely hidden sin.

Light shines on his path again, when we unravel the case file documents with the dissenting judgement and the man regains his freedom after 26 years.

The critical question is: Who will advocate for the poor and helpless? It is us;
The Chief Judge, Attorney General, Commissioner of Police, and all stakeholders must be involved. And this where CJMR comes in, and the organization are doing it.

“We therefore call for wholesome assistance from all and sundry to sustain the tempo, and help our people, who graciously need the assistance,” Olujobi concluded.

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How Ozekhome Took on FG over Fuel Subsidy Removal 37 Years Ago

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Constitutional Lawyer and human rights advocate, Prof Mike Ozekhome SAN,  has narrated how, 37 years ago, he took on the Federal Government of Nigeria over the removal of fuel subsidy in his continuous and sustained efforts to advocate the interest of every Nigerian and the good of the country.

The narration is presented in the eye of the learned silk as presented below:

MIKE OZEKHOME, A NIGERIAN WHO ALWAYS PEERS INTO THE FUTURE FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY

As far back as December 29, 1987 (37 years ago), Prof Mike Ozekhome, SAN, CON, OFR, had already taken on the Federal Government of Nigeria on behalf of the Nigerian masses regarding the issue of subsidy removal on petroleum products.

Ozekhome had sued the then military dictator, President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, joining the then Ahmed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) and the Attorney General of the Federation, against removal of petroleum subsidy. This is a matter that is still generating ripples across Nigeria till date, as it is the likewire, heart and soul of the Nigerian economy.

Ozekhome had argued that it was a misnomer for government to talk about removing oil or petroleum subsidy since no one can subsidize his God-given natural product. He had posited that the government did not take cognisance of the fact that oil was produced in Nigeria as against the countries copiously cited by the government where oil was supposedly cheaper.

He had also argued that government’s position was akin to a farmer measuring his piece of yam before eating it by comparing its worth or price with what it is sold to people who do not themselves produce yams. He further argued that government’s argument as put forth in the media was not enough to warrant any sudden or gradual withdrawal of petroleum subsidy. The Honourable Justice Idowu Agoro, then of the High Court of Lagos State, disagreed with Ozekhome in his ruling on the preliminary objection filed by late Moshood Adio, the then Director of Civil litigation (later Chief Judge of Oyo State and Justice of the Supreme Court of the Gambia). He struck out the suit on 29th December, 1987. The government through Adio had argued that Ozekhome lacked the locus standi to institute the action; that the action was speculative; and that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case. The court agreed with him and held that no citizen could question or prevent “the merit, desirability or expediency” of anything done or planned to be by the country’s president or the Ahmed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC).

The court also ruled that the decision “whether or not to to remove subsidy on petroleum is a matter within the absolute power of the AFRC which no court could dabble into”. He however, ended by assuring the plaintiff (Ozekhome) that all hope was not lost “since the record of the present military regime showed that it was a listening government”, and that he believed “all shades of opinion would be considered and evaluated before taking a decision on whether or not to remove the subsidy on petroleum”.

That optimism was apparently not shared by the IBB regime as the government went ahead anyway to remove the subsidy and hike prices of petroleum products on four different consecutive occasions -1986- from 20k to 39.5k per litre; 1988, from 39.5k to 42k); 1989, from 42k to 60k; and 1991, from 60k to 70k). These increases in the fuel price per litre triggered mass protests across the streets by Nigerians who kicked against the IMF-dictated economic policy. A littre today sells anything between N620 and N850. Had the then government up to the present one listened, Nigeria would not be in her dire straits today.

Thus, what Prof Ozekhome saw and fought for in 1987 (37 years ago) has come to hunt us ever since and even till date. This is like the case of a motion for return to the old more meaningful and aggregative National Anthem which he had also championed and won by the consensus of the 492 delegates on the 2nd of July, 2014, at the 2014 National Confab. This eventually came to pass ten years later on 28th May, 2024, when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assented to a bill that returned the old National anthem.

Surely, some patriots sit down, think and plan ahead for the good of the Nigerian nation. Following is the National Concord newspaper report of the story as published on December 30, 1987.

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Democracy Day: Full Text of President Tinubu’s Speech

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President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday addressed Nigerians on Democracy Day for the second time since he assumed office on May 29, 2024.

In his speech, the President honoured heroes of democracy, rallied Nigerians to support his administration’s efforts to strengthen the economy and informed citizens that a bill for a new minimum wage will be sent to the National Assembly soon, among other things.

Read his full speech below:

TEXT OF PRESIDENT BOLA TINUBU’S NATIONAL BROADCAST ON THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF UNBROKEN DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA,

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DEMOCRACY DAY, 12TH JUNE, 2024
ABUJA

My fellow Nigerians, let me begin by congratulating all of us for witnessing the celebration of another Democracy Day today, the twelfth day of June 2024. This year also marks our nation’s 25 years of uninterrupted democratic governance.

On this day, 31 years ago, we entered our rites of passage to becoming a true and enduring democratic society.

Going through this passage was hard and dangerous. During the fateful six years that followed, we fought and struggled for our natural rights as human beings put on this earth by the divine hand of our Creator.

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We lost great heroes and heroines along the way. In this struggle, the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, the most significant symbol of our democratic struggle, his wife, Kudirat, General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, and Pa Alfred Rewane amongst other sacrificed their very lives.

They bravely surrendered their futures, so that our nation might have a better one.

Let us honour the memories of Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Commodore Dan Suleiman, Chief Arthur Nwankwo, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chief Frank Kokori, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Ganiyu Dawodu, Chief Ayo Fasanmi, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Chief Olabiyi Durojaiye, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, Chima Ubani, and others who have transited to the higher realm.

The sacrifices of General Alani Akinrinade, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Professor Wole Soyinka, Chief Ralph Obioha, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, among many others, should never be forgotten. For at least six years, they bore the pains and difficulties of life in exile.

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While the exiled pro-democracy activists kept the fire burning, their comrades at home sustained the pressure on the military leadership. Among the latter are Olisa Agbakoba, Femi Falana, Abdul Oroh, Senator Shehu Sani, Governor Uba Sani, Chief Olu Falae, and other National Democratic Coalition leaders such as Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Ayo Opadokun.

The sacrifices they made, and the precious gift brought about by their selfless devotion can neither be repaid nor forgotten.

We could not have won the battle against dictatorship without the irrepressible Nigerian journalists who mounted the barricades along with the pro-democracy activists. We celebrate them today, along with their media establishments such as The Punch, Guardian, National Concord, Tribune, The News/Tempo, and TELL Magazines. The undemocratic government of the day proscribed these media establishments and jailed their journalists for standing for free speech and civil liberties and the sanctity of the June 12 elections.

Despite the lethal might of the authoritarian government, what appeared to be high and unyielding walls of dictatorship came tumbling down. The dismal fortress exists no longer.

The power of an idea, the power of the people proved more potent than all the guns, the munitions, and the threats of the strongmen.

The nation exited the yoke of dictatorship in 1999 to become the most populous democracy on African soil, the beacon of democratic self-determination for the black race and one of the largest democracies in the world.

This change stands as a pivotal moment in human history. From this change, we shall never turn, nor shall the annals of mankind’s progress forget the sublime meaning of this great moment.

Today, 25 years later. we celebrate the silver anniversary of our journey in democracy.

We have steadied the course. Democracy is neither a foreign nor abstract concept devoid of real-life meaning for us. Neither can we afford to reduce or minimalize it to being nothing but the mere holding of periodic elections where one candidate and party outdo another.

While elections attract dramatic attention, they are but one aspect of democracy. Democracy is a way of life that encompasses a broad outlook of which elections are but a part. As such, a nation can have elections without being democratic. But a nation cannot be truly democratic without holding elections.

That we have established a tradition of holding transparent, open, and fair elections gives credence to our democratic standing. That we have experienced peaceful transitions of government affirms our democratic temperament.

Fellow Nigerians, true democracy shines its light into the daily lives of the people who live under its nurturing wings. It affords us the freedom and liberty to think as we want, live where we want and pursue whatever legitimate endeavour that suits us.

Democracy does not assume some false or forced unity of opinion. In fact, democracy assumes that conflicting ideas and differing opinions shall be the order of the day. Given the diversity and variety of the human experience, there must be diverse perspectives and viewpoints.

What democracy demands is that we do not resolve differences through force and repression. But we make allowance for the legitimacy of views that differ from our own.

The other forms of government impose against the will of the people, democracy aims to make leaders who conduct themselves as servants of the common good, not as viceroys of the narrow interests of the mighty.

My dear compatriots, Nigeria faced a decision of untold gravity twenty-five years ago: Whether to veer toward a better destination or continue aimlessly in the fog of dictatorship.

We made the right choice then. We must continue with that choice now.

As Nigerians, we must remind ourselves that no matter how complicated democracy may be, it is the best form of governance in the long run. We must also be aware that there are those among us who will try to exploit current challenges to undermine, if not destroy, this democracy for which so much has already been given.

This is the great battle of our day and the major reason we specially celebrate this day as Democracy Day.

The true meaning of this day is not to focus solely on the great deeds of the past that have brought us to this point.

Yes, we pay eternal honour to those who laid down their lives, sacrificing everything to pave the way for the nation.

I stand uniquely placed in this regard. I was among those who took the risk to midwife the birth of our democracy. I am now a direct and obvious beneficiary of the fruits of those historic efforts.

As president of this nation, I am morally and constitutionally bound to preserve this precious form of governance. I vow to do my utmost best to protect your rights, freedoms, and liberties as citizens of Nigeria.

Even more than that, I pledge to do what is necessary to cement democracy as our way of life.

Although the challenges are steep and multiple, I am grateful to lead Nigeria at this moment in her history and point in her democratic journey.

I come before you also to declare that our most important work remains before us. This real test has never been whether we would rise to challenge the slings of misfortune and grievous pain of dictatorship.

The real test is whether we shall lower our guards and fail to defend democracy as the shadow of despotism and its evident physical danger fade.

I say to you here and now that as we celebrate the enshrinement of our political democracy, let us commit ourselves to the fulfilment of its equally important counterpart, the realization of our economic democracy.

I understand the economic difficulties we face as a nation.

Our economy has been in desperate need of reform for decades. It has been unbalanced because it was built on the flawed foundations and over-reliance on revenues from exploitation of oil.

The reforms we have initiated are intended to create a stronger, better foundation for future growth. There is no doubt the reforms have occasioned hardship. I feel your pains. Yet, they are necessary repairs required to fix the economy over the long run so that everyone has access to economic opportunity, fair pay and compensation for his endeavour and labour.

As we continue to reform the economy, I shall always listen to the people and will never turn my back on you.

In this spirit, we have negotiated in good faith and with open arms with organized labour on a new national minimum wage. We shall soon send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to enshrine what has been agreed upon as part of our law for the next five years or less.

In the face of labour’s call for a national strike, we did not seek to oppress or crack down on the workers as a dictatorial government of the past would have done. We chose the path of cooperation over conflict.

Nobody was arrested or threatened. Instead, the labour leadership was invited to break bread and negotiate toward a good-faith resolution.

Reasoned discussion and principled compromise are hallmarks of democracy. These themselves shall continue to animate my policies and interaction with the constituent parts of our political economy.

I take on this vital task without fear or favour and I commit myself to this work until we have built a Nigeria where no man is oppressed.

In the end, our national greatness will not be achieved by travelling the easy road. It can only be achieved by taking the right one.

The words of the American President Franklin Roosevelt certainly ring true:

“There are many ways of going forward. But only one way of standing still”!

We dare not slumber lest the good things awaiting our immediate future pass us by. We dare not plant our feet in idle standstill in the middle of the intersection of hope and despair.

We know the proper way forward and we shall take it!

The initial rays of a brighter tomorrow now appear on the horizon. An abundant future and our capacity to achieve that future lies within our reach. Democracy and the institutions it begets offer to take us to our profound destination.

Let us board this progressive train together. Together, let us move Nigeria forward.

Let’s continue to keep the fire of democracy burning. Let’s keep the torch lit for generations to come.

May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria and preserve our democracy.

I wish us all Happy Democracy Day.

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Dangote Refinery: Akpabio Pledges NASS Protection, Says Dangote Silenced Detractors by Completing Project

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The Senate leadership yesterday described the 650,000bpd Dangote Petroleum Refinery as the 9th wonder of the world but came hard on those who are skeptical of the completion of Dangote Petroleum Refinery describing them as dream killers.

Indeed, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, who led the leadership of the 10th Senate on a tour of the Refinery in Lagos said detractors of the refinery have all been silenced and that indeed, previous governments have been put to shame with the completion of the project.

He assured that the National Assembly will give it what it takes to protect the project because its one project that Nigeria and indeed Africa should take the ownership and must be protected jealously.

Commending Alhaji Aliko Dangote for completing the construction of the largest single train refinery in the world in a record time, the Senate President said Dangote deserved all the accolades for this feat noting that ordinary residence of Nigeria’s Vice-President could not be completed until after 14 years.

Said he: “They told us in Abuja that Dangote Refinery is farce but we have come here and see for ourselves that the refinery is alive and running. Dangote has put to shame a lot of people. They are wondering how it will be possible for a single individual to accomplish what a whole nation could not accomplish; what 240 million people could not maintain; what a continent could not do and then one person will build 650,000bpd project.

“They keep wondering how one person can succeed where nations have failed; where continent has failed. But Dangote has done it. It is highly commendable. We came to see the refinery because we in the current senate believe in the Nigerian dream. We didn’t come as a doubting Thomas but we came because we believe the project, we came to rekindle the hope of Nigerians and the Nigerian’s can do spirit.”

Senator Akpabio stated that the whole Nigeria couldn’t make refineries function in Kaduna, Pot Harcourt, Warri, but that Dangote and his team have proven that it is possible to dream and achieve it in Nigeria.”
Akpabio said the shame that came with the discovery of oil in Nigeria in 1958 has been removed by Dangote alluding to a report that India does not have oil but his refineries from where the country exports refined products. The inability of the nation to refine its oil has brought untold hardship on Nigerians so much so that Belgian government recently ban the exportation of dirty and condemned fuel to the country to West African country just because we can’t refine our own products.

Describing the refinery as quite unbelievable, Senator Akpabio who was sandwiched by other senators comprising of the Deputy Senate President, Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele and a host of others said the Senate and the entire National Assembly would come up with a robust legislation that would protect the project and others like it.

He stated: “Mr. Dangote, I pity you a lot because even your friends will envy you simply because they will keep wondering how can you succeed when nations, and continents have failed? Now that we have seen for ourselves, we are here to announce our own endorsement of this major project. It is also shocking to see that we produce sufficient fertilisers for Nigeria and enough to be exported.

“As I said we will do our report and we will speak to Mr President to put a stop to fertisliser import to Nigeria. You will hear from us soon.”

Also speaking, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, enthused that it is a privilege that the refinery happened in “our time, our state and our country. People talk about dreams, but only few can make it happen. Dangote has put Lagos State and the whole of Nigeria on the world map of excellence.

“I am happy the senate came to see for themselves; Dangote was not ready to rest after successfully building the largest cement factory chain in Africa, second largest sugar refinery in the world. With investment like this, I can assure you that we are on the right path to meet the projected GDP of $1trn by 2030.

“You have the key to city, I have given you long time ago and I am happy you are using it very well,” Governor Sanwo-Olu stated.
In his remark, Mr. Dangote explained that the “visit could not have come at a more auspicious time than now just as the organization is in the process of bringing the various units of this complex integrated refining processes on stream, an eagerly awaited move.”

He stated further that the Dangote Refinery “produces a wide range of high-quality petroleum products, including premium motor spirit (petrol), diesel, kerosene, and jet fuel, all meeting the highest international standards (Euro V Grade). The Refinery apart from adding value to our crude oil, will yield 900,000 KTPA of Polypropylene and 36,000 KTPA of Sulphur and carbon black as by products.

“The Refinery will help boost Nigeria’s economic growth, with the creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. During the construction stage, it supported over 150,000 jobs, made up of mostly Nigerians. These Nigerians in the process acquired various skills that are still useful in other construction projects.

“The capacity of the refinery is enough to satisfy domestic demands for refined products. The Refinery will export about 50 per cent of its production thereby generating foreign exchange for the country. It will lead to growth in adjacent sectors such as logistics, shipping, engineering, and servicing.

“The Refinery has the requisite capacity to provide energy security both by providing a ready home for our crude and in ensuring steady availability of petroleum products for all. Nigerians will also get to partake in the financial returns once we list the Refinery on the NGX.

“We are thus making an important contribution to this administration’s plan to grow our GDP to $1 trillion.

“Our Group is at the vanguard of job creation and employment generation in Nigeria. We are the biggest employer of labour after the Federal Government. Dangote Cement sustains about 70,000 (Seventy thousand) direct and indirect jobs across Africa, while the Refinery, Petroleum Chemical Complex and Fertiliser will be able to create over 150,000 (One hundred and fifty thousand) direct and indirect jobs.
“We have remained one of the biggest contributors to government coffers as our three subsidiaries, Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar Refinery and NASCON Allied Industries paid a total of N788.98 billion as tax and N276 billion in VAT in three years.
“We envision in Nigeria the equivalent of Jamnagar in India where crude oil refining is the backbone of specialised industrial zones, transportation networks, and ancillary industries, contributing to the overall industrialisation of the region. Or Saudi Arabia’s Jubail Industrial City, which is also undergirded by large scale petrochemical complexes.

“The Legislature has a great role to play in this. Globally, the Legislature plays a great role in protecting and supporting domestic industry. I am sure that the members of the 10th National Assembly are more than equal to the task. Supporting the Refinery secures the benefits. It will ensure energy security. As co-creators of value, we appreciate and acknowledge your consistent efforts in ensuring the enactment of vital laws promoting a conducive business environment in the nation,” he said.

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