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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Obasanjo reveals how Yar’Adua refunded $750m for refineries

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has given an insight into how his successor, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, said he was pressurized into reversing the sale of the nation’s oil refineries which he had concluded before leaving office in 2007.
Still in his serialized interview with the Channels Television programme: ‘Book Club’, monitored in Abuja on Wednesday, Obasanjo lamented that Yar’Adua did not only cancel the sale, but also refunded the $750m paid by business mogul, Aliko Dangote, who led a consortium of investors to buy the troubled facilities.

Noting that the Federal Government was finding it difficult to manage the facilities as at then, he posited that the investors had paid $750m for two of the refineries, asserting that both refineries will hardly be sold for more than $250m as at now, since they have become very old.
He, however, regretted that instead of the Yar’Adua administration to consolidate on the sale so that the investors could turn around the fortunes of the refineries, his successor succumbed to pressure and reversed the sale of the oil facilities.
The former President explained that most people, especially leaders, always fail to analyse the decisions of those before them before upturning those decisions, pointing out that most leaders yield to sentiment than informed opinions.
His words, “The refineries are old and Dangote and some investors paid $750m for two of the refineries. My successor came to office and reversed the sale; he even refunded the money they paid.
“So, I went to him and said ‘why did you do this’? He said it was because of pressure. So, I said ‘so the pressure of some people was more important than the interest of the whole nation’!
“Right now, you will hardly be able to sell the refineries for more than $250m because they are very old”.

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