President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the new 3 million Metric Tonnes capacity per annum state-of-the-art Dangote Fertiliser Urea Plant, valued at over $2.5 billion, expressing his delight at the ability of the plant to revitalise the nation’s agricultural sector.
President Buhari commissioned the new plant Monday, at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos Free Trade Zone within the periphery of the Dangote refinery in the presence of some 18 governors, ministers, captains of industries as well as prominent traditional rulers.
Buhari said the coming on stream of the plant would create huge opportunities in the areas of employment, trade, warehousing, transport and logistics, and greatly create wealth, while also reducing poverty and secure the future of our nation”.
The President said, “In the agricultural sector, another focal point of our economic policy, we expect a boom as fertiliser is now readily available. Many Nigerians who hitherto practiced subsistence farming because of non-availability of necessary inputs can now take up agriculture as a business. We expect a rise of new breed of agropreneurs who will add value to farming and make the nation self-sufficient in food production.”
President Buhari reiterated the commitment if his administration to provide an enabling environment for the private sector investors to operate, through a tax credit scheme, in the rehabilitation of roads across Nigeria under the Presidential Order No. 7.
“As we all know, good roads contribute to easy movement of goods and services across the nation, thus reducing cost of doing business and improving productivity. We are also rehabilitating our railway lines and building new ones to lessen the burden on our roads and create more effective multi-model transportation networks,” he added.
Earlier, in his welcome address, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote described the new plant as a game changer, with the capacity to make Nigeria become self-sufficient in fertiliser production, and export to other markets in Africa and the rest of the world. He added that already, Dangote fertiliser has reached the markets in the USA, Brazil and Mexico.
Dangote said the Fertiliser plant, which is the largest granulated Urea fertiliser complex in Africa, occupies 500 hectares of land, with a $2.5 billion cost of production, and it’s expected to reduce drastically level of unemployment and youth restiveness in the country through employment opportunities, by generating new jobs with top quality fertiliser being available and in sufficient quantities for the farmers.
Dangote Fertiliser, according to him, would ensure emergence of farmers in the country, providing hundreds of jobs and ushering in a new era of agricultural entrepreneurs, (agroprenuers). “This breed of agroprenuers will take to farming on large scales, providing food and raw materials for our industries,” he added.
“Studies have shown that applying the right fertiliser to the soil will boost productivity. This service is to cover all the geopolitical zones, and will surely change agricultural landscape in the country by transforming farming into a lucrative profession.
“Dangote Fertiliser is working with Farmer Associations, Corporate Farmers, NPK Blenders, NGO/development partners and State Governments all over Nigeria, and governments across Africa and beyond who are looking for sustainable approach to improving soil quality and farm yields,” he explained.
Also speaking at the occasion, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele said Nigeria is indeed indebted to Aliko Dangote for his giant stride to add value to Nigeria’s economy.
According to him, “It is great that a Nigerian has taken not just this great initiative of helping to solve our perennial problem of importing petrochemical products including fertiliser but has taken advantage of the emerging huge market opportunity presented by recent global developments.
“In addition to the lessons we learnt from the protectionist actions of countries during the early days of COVID-19, this investment is again a glaring testament to the foresight and tireless efforts of Mr. President in encouraging domestic production of items that can be produced in Nigeria, especially agriculture. This would not only help to enable greater productivity of our agricultural sector but also help in insulating Nigeria farmers from depending on imported fertiliser,” Emefiele stated.
Lagos state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote for always blazing the trail, noting that Lagos state government was happy to be hosting many of his businesses. He added that, “with the largest fertiliser plant in Africa in Lagos and the largest refinery in the world coming soon, there is nobody that would not be proud of Alhaji Dangote.”
The governor stated that Nigeria would quickly forget its many economic problems if another entrepreneur like Dangote could be replicated in other regions of Nigeria.