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Indorama promises cheaper fertiliser in Nigeria by Q1 2016

We operate world class environment standards – Indorama Nigeria

Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited (IEPL), Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has promised to produce and supply cheaper and high quality fertilisers to farmers in Nigeria beginning from the first quarters of 2016 (Q1 2016), when its $1.2 billion world-class plant would commence production.

Manish Mundra, managing director/CEO of the Indorama Group in Nigeria, said the company was on a mission to change Nigeria’s fertiliser story, thereby helping to realise the country’s dream of available and affordable fertiliser.

Mundra said: “… from 2016, Indorama will make Nigeria to become self-sufficient in NPK and Urea fertilisers. As part of the change, the price of fertilisers will fall (in Nigeria), yet the quality will increase. Demand will grow. Technical support will be there.”

The Indorama CEO was speaking while addressing agro-dealers and fertiliser distributors in the country, who visited the company’s ongoing construction work of a 1.4-million metric tons plant in Port Harcourt, hinting of a climb in the value chain of the agricultural sector, which had made a drop in the 2013 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rebasing, witnessing a reduction from 30.3 percent to 24 percent.

According to him, “fertiliser business in Nigeria will change from import-based to production-based.”

He therefore called on all agro-dealers, farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector in the country, to be part of what he described as Indorama “Nigeria fertiliser dream.”

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“We want all of you (agro-dealers and fertiliser distributors) to be part of this movement. This change would prosper all of you, and achieve the dream of Nigeria,” he said.

It may yet be early in the day to ascertain the ex-factory cost of Indorama’s fertilisers, given that production was yet to start at the multi-billion dollar plant.

It is recalled that in 2006, Indorama Corporation, a global manufacturer of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester fibre, filament as well as spun yarns, fabrics, and medical gloves, founded in Indonesia in 1976, bought over the then moribund Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited (EPCL). Upon taking over, the Asian company carried out the first turnaround maintenance (TAM) on the plant, and began production of grades of polymer resins. Today, with three successful TAMs (the third was only last October 2014), the petrochemicals company is awash with growing demands for plastics raw materials and fertiliser. Its products are widely received in the Nigerian market.

Meanwhile, BusinessDay findings from some fertiliser dealers on current market prices of the product (especially the South-South and South East geopolitical zones) showed that: NPK and Urea sell for between N5,000 and N6,000 per bag.

The Federal Government subsidised fertiliser, through the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, which gives farmers at a collection points at N5,500 for two bags that are hardly available, making many of them to resort to buying the products from the open market.

Over the years, the Federal Government has made efforts to distribute fertilisers to millions of farmers in the country. Since the 1980s, these efforts have witnessed the biggest scam by fraudulent middlemen.

In launching the GES programme in 2011, which aims at eliminating middlemen, by getting subsidised fertilisers directly to farmers, Akinwunmi Adesina, agriculture minister, said it was to reform the fertiliser distribution system, which he said was riddled with corruption. He said only about 11 percent of farmers ever got the subsidised fertiliser in the past. The rest of it was diverted by officials and shared to well-connected politicians or sold to marketers, leading to a loss of about N776 billion government funds between 1980 and 2010.

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