Entrepreneurship has been declared by experts and public affairs commentators…
I recently came across a piece of news titled Niger Delta Group to sue Dangote for siting Refinery in Lagos
This is one of the many pieces of news you read in Nigeria and feel like knocking sense into some people. This is height of ignorance in the name of activism.
Pray, how can you force a private businessman on where to locate his business?
And can someone tell these ignoramuses that this is not a crude oil or oil field matter? This is by no stretch an upstream matter. This man just wants to be buying crude oil from the the upstream operators in Niger Delta and elsewhere and processing into fuel products (petrol, kerosene, diesel, aviation fuel etc) and resell the products.
Who tells a customer (not producer) to locate his business in source of supply? It may not even be the sole source of supply. He may even have to import crude from other countries.
Perhaps they should tell the Indian refineries (who are Dangote’s competitors in this business) currently buying and processing our crude to also relocate to Niger Delta.
It is less ridiculous to tell Chevron or Exxon that, because they are upstream operators and need to “dig the soil” of the Niger Delta to produce oil.
It even makes little sense to present the argument to FG on NNPC Kaduna refinery, which can be argued to be financed with “oil money” and more cost-ineffective to transport the crude (with taxpayers’ money) to such a long distance before refining.
But what is your case against a Dangote refinery whose only business will be to buy the crude and doesn’t have to adversely impact your environment as this is not about crude production from the earth? Is it your money? He doesn’t have to touch your soil so you can’t accuse him of environmental degradation.
A simple analogy: If I go to the cassava market in Warri to buy cassava to bring to my cassava processing plant in Lagos, how can you lump me up with cassava farmers in damage done to your soil by cassava farmers in Warri? Did I also dig your soil in Warri cassava farms? On what basis will you force me to compensate you for damage to your soil by cassava farmers by establishing my own garri factory too in your locality? Did you see any hoe for my hand? I may not even own a plot of land in your farmland.
Perhaps these guys need more education.