President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, conducted the commissioning of Dangote Fertiliser Plant in Ibeju Lekki.
The President said he is optimistic that Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Industries, will replicate the success recorded in the cement industry in the fertilizers segment.
According to him, the Group put an end to the importation of cement in Nigeria, emerging the continent’s largest cement producer, presently operating in over 10 countries in Africa.
Buhari also hailed Africa’s richest man for being the biggest employer of labour after the Federal Government.
The world-class fertilizer plant was built at a cost of $2.5 billion, with the capacity to produce three million metric tonnes (mt) of urea per annum.
He said, “The group’s investment in cement production has ended Nigeria’s dependence on importation of cement. I believe the feat will be repeated in the fertilizer segment. The Group is also the second-largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the Federal Government.
“This is very pleasing because job creation by 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. I’m informed that you have started exporting to other countries including the United States, India and Brazil.”
Buhari said the new fertiliser plant would reduce Nigeria’s importation of urea, adding that he hopes to inaugurate the Dangote Refinery later this year.
The urea and ammonia fertiliser plant is the biggest of its kind in the world and, combined with a 650,000 barrels per day oil refinery standing within its vicinity, will cost Africa’s richest man $17.5 billion, Mr Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank’s boss, said at the event.
Also, the Dangote refinery is due for launch later this year.
Test run began at the facility in March 2020 in hope that production would commence later in the year. But not until the first quarter of 2021 did that happen on account of disruptions from the pandemic outbreak.