President-elect, Bola Tinubu is expected to return to Nigeria from his working visit to France on Sunday, according to sources. Tinubu had left the country a week ago to focus on finalizing his transition programs and policy options with key aides, away from unnecessary pressures and distractions.
His media aide, Tunde Rahman, in a statement released last week, had noted that Tinubu during his stay in France, will engage with investors and allies, aiming to showcase investment opportunities in Nigeria.
Before his departure, he met with the All Progressives Congress-endorsed candidates for the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu.
Meanwhile, multiple sources within Tinubu’s camp that spoke with Punch have confirmed that he is expected to return to the country on the eve of the official opening of the Dangote Refinery complex.
The highly anticipated refinery, with a capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of oil per day, is scheduled for launch by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 22.
Situated in the expansive Lekki Free Zone area of Lagos, the Dangote Refinery is recognized as the largest single-train refinery globally, covering a vast land area of approximately 2,635 hectares.
This land size surpasses that of the well-known Victoria Island in Lagos.
With reports suggesting that the refinery has been completed and pre-inauguration tests underway, Nigerians are hopeful that the multi-billion-dollar oil refinery and petrochemical company will provide relief to the country’s long-standing refining challenges.
“Asiwaju may be returning on Sunday just in time to meet up with the official launch of the Dangote refinery in Lagos. There is no way he will miss such an opportunity for anything in the world,” a source revealed.
The event holds great significance for Tinubu as it takes place in Lagos, his base. He is also scheduled to deliver a speech during the inauguration ceremony, alongside President Buhari and other prominent business leaders from Africa and around the world.
Another anonymous APC chieftain shared that Tinubu is under significant pressure and eager to hit the ground running.
The politician further disclosed that Tinubu’s highly anticipated cabinet list is ready and might be officially unveiled following his inauguration on May 29.
“Asiwaju is anxious to hit the ground after his swearing-in ceremony. Although it has not been made official, I learned 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 should be included in his list of ministers and heads of agencies,” the politician explained.
The Director of Media and Publicity for the dissolved APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga confirmed that Tinubu would deliver a paper at the opening ceremony of the Dangote refinery.
However, he expressed uncertainty about the president-elect’s exact return date to the country.