Nigeria to export 3m metric tons of urea – Emefiele
…as Dangote begins sale of fertilizers Monday after 3 missed targets
Nigeria has the potential to export at least three million metric tons of urea to different parts of the world, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Friday in Lagos.
Africa’s biggest oil producer after Libya has close to five million metric tons of urea consisting of Dangote’s three million metric tons, Indorama’s 1.5 million metric tons, and Notore of about 300 metric tons.
“Nigeria needs barely one million metric tons and even if we want to exaggerate, 1.5 million metric tons of urea,” Emefiele said during official tour of Dangote refinery and petrochemical plants in Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ), Lagos.
The areas visited include Dangote Petroleum Refinery, Petrochemical Complex,
Fertilizer Plant and Subsea Gas Pipeline Projects in Lekki Lagos.
Emefiele, who was in company of Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group, and banks chief executives, said “So, we have potential to export at least three million metric tons of urea to different parts of the world.”
He said Nigeria now ranks among the leading countries in the production of urea. “This for me is a story no one would have believed in Nigeria,” Emefiele said.
The CBN governor said Dangote has also committed that mechanical commissioning would end by the end of this year and are expecting that the refinery and petrochemical would kick-off by the end of first quarter of next.
“We are pushing the company to see that they start the production of petroleum products before the first quarter of 2022 because we badly need that this plant should start,” he said.
“I am extremely delighted that we were able to have a feel of urea and I am saying that the Nigerian agricultural sector will continue to blossom. Four years ago, people in different parts of the world would never believe a project like this can be completed in Nigeria. Thus is a great fulfilment for me at this time in my career as CBN governor,” Emefiele said.
Speaking during the media session Dangote announced the formal commencement of production of urea in commercial quantity and the plan to flood the Nigerian market with Dangote fertilizers from Monday, June 7, 2021.
This announcement was made after three missed targets. Dangote Group had last year announced it would commence production and sale of urea in the Nigerian market in September last year. Another plan was in November 2020 and the last one was to begin in April this year.
In what industry watchers have described as a potent step to liberalize of the fertilizer market and further enhance the agricultural production, president of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote told the visitors that the plant, with a capacity to churn out three million metric tons per annum of urea, has been classified as the biggest project in the entire fertiliser industry in the world.
He told top bankers, including Emefiele, who were on hand to witness the commencement of production “this Phase 1 of the project, which is estimated to cost $2.5 billion, is to manufacture 3mmtpa of urea per annum. This capacity will later be expanded to produce multi grades of fertilisers to meet soil, crop and climate-specific requirements for the African continent.