By Confidence Ijeh
President Muhammadu Buhari has on Tuesday, inaugurated the newly completed Dangote Fertilizer Plant, located at Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos State, Nigeria.
The World-class fertilizer plant was built at a cost of $2.5 billion, with the capacity to produce three million metric tonnes of fertilizer annually.
President Buhari hailed Africa’s richest and Nigeria’s pride, Aliko Dangote describing him as the biggest employer of labour after the Nigerian Government.
He said the government would gain from the new plant.
According to him, the new fertilizer plant will reduce Nigeria’s importation of urea, as he hopes to also inaugurate the Dangote Refinery later this year.
In his words, ” this is very pleasing, because job creation by the private sector operators is vita security as it takes thousands of youths off the street. The nation also stands to gain excessively in earnings of foreign exchange with excess production and export from the plant.”
The Fertiliser plants:
The plant occupies 500 hectares of land in Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos Nigeria.
With Nigeria estimated to need about 5 to 7 million metric tonnes per annum of fertiliser and with the current level of fertiliser consumption in the country which is 1.5 million metric tonnes, the Dangote Fertiliser complex was established to produce 3 million metric tonnes per annum of urea fertiliser in phase1.
The edifice is expected to boost Nigeria’s average fertilizer application, which currently stands at 20kg per hectare (ha).
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.
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.
Following its completion, the plant is also expected to add well over $400 million in foreign exchange into the Nigerian economy from the exportation of the products to other African countries.