The Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Friday, had requested collaboration with the Nigerian Navy to secure his refinery located at Lekki, Lagos State.
Dangote, who made the appeal when he met with the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo Zubairu, at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja, said the partnership with the Navy became necessary as a result of growing insecurity in the maritime sector.
According to him, the refinery being the largest single line in the world, will attract a lot of operations and activities, which he said would attract pirates from Apapa to Lekki.
He said, “I am here to look for partnership between Dangote Group and the Nigerian Navy. There are a lot of things we can do between the Navy and the Dangote Group. I think we can be two hands so we can clap together.
“It means that you do your own beat, we will also do our own best to support you and make sure you do your job. It doesn’t really mean only what affects us, No! But also what affects the Navy in terms of your own operation, maybe your facilities.”
He added: “My main other point is the setting up of the permanent Naval protection base at our refinery. As you are aware, we are building the largest single refinery with 650,000 barrels/day which means we can actually process one-third of Nigeria’s production, and that is quite a lot of activities.
“When you look at the services of the refinery, we are going to be the largest single line of refinery in the world. That’s a very huge operation. There will be a lot of movement of ships in and out and there is no way we can succeed on what we want to do without the help of the Nigerian Navy.
“Definitely, we have to partner. You will be our major partner because there must be peace, there must be security and protection before we can even operate. So, the development of a permanent naval location is very key for us for our own operation because our refinery is sandwiched between the ocean and the lagoon.”
Responding, the Naval Chief lamented the continued activities of sea pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
“One of the most teething challenges we have, is the issue of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Sometimes, the issue of maritime security, in particular the issue of piracy is hefty for the international community,” Gambo said.