• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Buhari commissions $2.5b Dangote fertilizer plant today

Buhari presides over FEC, as Muhammad Shehu takes oath, as RAMFC chairman,

President Muhammadu Buhari will today, in Lagos perform the official tape-cutting of the multi-billion dollars Dangote Fertilizer Plant, located at Ibeju Lekki

The World-class fertilizer plant was built at a cost of $2.5 billion, with capacity to produce 3 million metric tonnes (mt) of urea yearly.

Nigeria’s average fertilizer application of 20kg/ha, is regarded as the lowest in Africa, as it lags behind some other African countries, including South Africa and Egypt.

This is even more challenging, especially when juxtaposed against the common usage rate is 200kg/ha, as the usage is directly related to crop growths.

With recommended average fertilizer usage of 100kg/ha, the country’s fertilizer application is only 20%, a situation that is blamed on the fact that over 80% of fertilizers consumed in Nigeria are imported, a gap the Dangote fertilizer plant is expected to bridge.

The plant, which is located at the fast-growing Economic Free Trade Zone, is acclaimed to be the largest of such projects in West Africa.

Read also: Buhari visits Lagos Tuesday

Already Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital is agog as the plant is set to begin operation and is expected to help boost the nation’s fertilizer needs, meeting local demand and boosting exports.

The President is also expected to commission other projects at the Murtala Mohammed International airport in Lagos, amongst other engagements.

BusinessDay gathered in Lagos on Monday that the President will also use the opportunity of his visit to Lagos to tour the Lekki Deep Seaport and the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical plant, also located within the free trade zone.

Following its completion, the plant is also expected to add well over $400 million in foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy from exportation of the products to other Africa countries.

Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, in an exclusive chat with BusinessDay ahead of the projects commissioning, applauded the efforts and commitments of the President towards making the nation self-sufficient in food production

“ As you are aware, the President has been very passionate in his commitments to boosting Nigeria’s food sufficiency and taking millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

“ What the President is doing today, is advancing his commitments to enhancing Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in food production, by putting in place everything necessary to boost agriculture, both to meet local needs and also to drive exports.

“ Agriculture contributes over 25% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and is also a major contributor to our foreign exchange earnings. So, farmers are pleased with these measures because, the Dangote plant will not only make fertilizer available to farmers, but also at very cheap and affordable prices”

BusinessDay visit to the plant shows frenzy activities, with the area wearing new looks, adorned with beautiful decorations, ahead of the President’s visit on Tuesday.

The Dangote plant is expected to complement the production capacity of other existing plants like Indorama Chemicals facilities, located in Rivers State, which produce urea, ammonia and other industrial raw materials.
Nigeria also has a fertilizer production agreement with Morocco, as both countries signed a $1.3 billion Basic Chemicals Plant that will be located in Nigeria, expected to produce Ammonia, Phosphoric Acid, Sulphuric Acid and various Nitrogen,

The plant will also produce Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) and Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilisers using Nigeria’s gas reserves.

These plants, according to Adesina, will “combine effectively with the existing 44 blending plants in the country to boost production of food, by further crashing the prices of fertilizer, ahead of the commencements of the farming season”.