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President Buhari commissions Dangote’s $2.5bn Fertiliser Plant
By Matthew Eloyi
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commissioned the state-of-the-art Dangote Fertiliser Urea Plant, which has a capacity of 3 million metric tons per year, with the assurance that the project would give a huge boost to Nigeria’s agricultural sector, whose revitalization has been a focal point of his administration’s economic policy.
The new plant, which he commissioned in the presence of 18 governors, ministers, captains of industry, and prominent traditional rulers, is located on the outskirts of the Dangote refinery in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos Free Trade Zone.
President Buhari, visibly ecstatic, stated that the plant’s start-up would create enormous opportunities in the areas of employment, trade, warehousing, transportation, and logistics. According to the President, the plant “will greatly create wealth, drastically reduce poverty, and secure our nation’s future.”
In his words, “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.”
According to him, the federal government is more determined than ever to create an enabling environment for private sector investors to thrive, and that his administration will continue to improve infrastructure, power, and security, as well as enact relevant laws and regulations to encourage economic investment.
Earlier in his welcome address, Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, described the new facility as a game-changer because it has the potential to make Nigeria self-sufficient in fertiliser manufacturing, with spare capacity to sell to other African and global markets. He further stated that Dangote fertiliser has already reached markets in the United States, Brazil, and Mexico.
Agriculture accounts for 20% of the country’s GDP, he said, and the new plant was an ambitious project that would provide both direct and indirect employment, reducing youth unrest.
According to him, Dangote Fertiliser will facilitate the emergence of farmers in the country, generating hundreds of jobs and ushering in a new era of agricultural entrepreneurs (agroprenuers). “This generation of agropreneurs will take to large-scale farming, supplying food and raw materials to our industries,” he added.
The fertiliser plant, according to Dangote, is introducing technologies that will alter the agricultural industry, such as extension services for small and medium-scale farmers. It has established a well-equipped fertiliser soil testing laboratory to analyze and identify soil deficiency as well as the proper fertiliser blend.