The president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is scheduled to return to the country from his working visit to France on Sunday, The PUNCH gathered.
The development is coming one week after the two-term governor of Lagos State departed Nigeria to avoid unnecessary pressures and distractions while he continues to finetune his transition programmes and policy options with some of his key aides.
A statement signed by his media aide, Tunde Rahman, had disclosed that the President-elect would also spend his stay engaging with investors and other key allies with the goal of marketing investment opportunities in the country.
Before embarking on the trip, Tinubu met with the candidates endorsed by the All Progressives Congress for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu.
However, multiple sources in Tinubu’s camp have confirmed that he is expected to make a return to the country on the eve of the official opening of Dangote Refinery complex.
The Dangote Refinery with its much-awaited 650,000 barrels per day is scheduled for launch by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on May 22.
Located in the heart of Lekki Free Zone area in Lagos, the facility, described as the world’s largest single-train refinery, covers an expanse of land that is approximately 2,635 hectares.
To further simplify it, the land on which the refinery was sited is larger than the current size of the popular Victoria Island.
Following reports that it has been completed with pre-inauguration tests currently ongoing, the multi-billion-dollar oil refinery and petrochemical company has renewed the hope of many Nigerians that it can offer some form of relief to Nigeria’s perennial refining challenges.
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“From what we heard, Asiwaju may be returning on Sunday just in time to meet up with the official launch of Dangote refinery in Lagos. There is no way he will miss such an opportunity for anything in the world.
“One, the event is happening in its base in Lagos. Secondly, he will also be giving a talk during the official opening. Aside from him, the president and several other African and global business leaders will be in attendance,” a source said.
Another APC chieftain, who craved anonymity, also told The PUNCH that the president-elect is seriously under pressure and cannot ‘wait to hit the ground running.’
The party chief also confirmed that his much hyped list of cabinet members is ready and may be officially unveiled after his inauguration.
He said, “Asiwaju is anxious to hit the ground after his swearing-in ceremony. Although it has not been made official, I learnt his cabinet list is ready and would be released after the May 29 inauguration.
“But as I told you earlier, it is his prerogative to decide who and who should make his list of ministers and heads of agencies.”
When contacted, the Director of Media and Publicity for the dissolved APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, also confirmed that Tinubu would deliver a paper at the Dangote refinery opening.
Onanuga, however, stated that he has no idea when the president-elect will arrive in the country.
“I am not aware of when the president-elect will return. But I know he is supposed to deliver paper at the Dangote refinery complex opening of Dangote refinery complex opening,” he said