The three million metric tonnes fertilizer plant owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has been commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of a planned initiative to ensure food sufficiency and boost the nation’s fertilizer needs.
The inauguration of the world-class fertilizer plant is estimated at $2.5 billion, with the capacity to produce 3 million metric tonnes (mt) of urea yearly.
In the welcome address of the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, he said the fertilizer plant would reduce unemployment in Nigeria and provide the quantity of fertilizer needed for African farmers. He added that their first product is in the market and has been exported to India, Brazil, and Mexico.
“It is an ambitious developmental project which will cut down on employment. It has the potential to become the major source of income for Nigeria. The project aims to make fertilizer available in sufficient quantities to the agriculture sector. Initiatives have been rolled out to train farmers on applying the fertilizer through the various Extension Officers. The Dangote group will continue to invest in the nation of Nigeria because it has many potentials”.Aliko Dangote
While performing the official tape-cutting of the plant, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, said the project aligns with the government’s drive to ensure food sufficiency in the country. “This is a demonstration of enhancing the socio-development of the country,” he said. “We are partnering with the private sector through a tax credit scheme on road constructions in the country and rehabilitating railway lines to ease the movement of goods,” he added.
President Buhari affirmed that the facility will help Nigeria’s economy export food to its neighboring countries. He said that cross-border trade has become more attractive since the advent of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and as the largest economy in West Africa, Nigeria has the potential to increase its trading volumes and production capacity significantly. He commended the Dangote group for investing in Nigeria and called on other investors to follow suit.
Dangote, on his part, uttered delight at the success of the fertilizer plant, which he claims is the largest in Africa and the second-largest urea plant in the world. He added that “Low fertilizer usages have been the reason for low yield of agriculture produce and our goal is to make fertilizer available in quantity for our farmers to boost their yield”. The plant’s capacity would be expanded to produce multi grades of fertilizer to meet the African continent’s soil, crop, and climate-specific requirements, he added.
The fertilizer plant, according to many, came at the right time when farmers on the African continent need fertilizer. Many have expressed their belief that the project will help boost productivity in Nigeria and the African Continent as a whole because the fertilizer gap would be bridged.