Nigerian workers protest over pay at Africa’s largest oil refinery near Lagos

NIGERIAN workers have demonstrated over pay issues outside the site of what will be Africa’s largest oil refinery, the owner Dangote Industries Ltd said, at a time of heightened tensions in the country over police brutality.

In its statement, Dangote said the protesters were not company employees but subcontractors locked in a pay dispute with their employers.

“The situation is under control as we are mediating with the parties involved,” said the statement, which gave no further information.

Twitter posts showed several dozen people gathered at what appeared to be the site of the planned refinery and said the protesters were “fighting for their rights”.

The Tweets said police had been at the scene. A national police spokesman did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the situation at the site.

The site is about 70 km (40 miles) east of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, which remains on edge following weeks of protests against police brutality that culminated in what witnesses and rights group Amnesty International said was the shooting of peaceful protesters by military and police on October 20.

The 650,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery could transform Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, from a nation reliant on imported fuels to a fuels exporter. It is expected to begin production within two years. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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