Dangote Fertiliser assures FG of forex as urea production commences
Dangote Fertiliser Limited has announced the commencement of urea production in commercial quantity, assuring the Federal Government of foreign exchange from its export.
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the plant, with a production capacity of three million metric tonnes of urea yearly, is one of the biggest projects in the global fertilizer industry.
Dangote recently told bankers and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, at the inspection of the facility that the phase one of the project, estimated at $2.5 billion, would produce three million metric tonnes of urea.
He said capacity would be expanded to produce multi-grades of fertilisers to meet soil, crop and climate-specific requirements for the African continent.
Dangote added that the fertiliser plant would make Nigeria the biggest urea exporting country in sub-Saharan Africa and biggest producer of polypropylene and polyethylene.
“The three million tonnes of urea is certified, licensed by all regulatory authorities in Nigeria. We have received all licenses from the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Agriculture, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and NAFDAC, among others.
“So, our urea will be in the market from Monday (yesterday) and by God’s grace before the end of this month, we will start bringing in dollars from the first line that we have commissioned,” he said.
He pointed out that the urea equated with a small percentage utilisation of gas being flared in the country, adding that the company planned to flood the market with urea, having already collected a database of farmers.
He said this would also ensure adequate training of farmers on best application of the product, stressing that this would sustain farming activities and ensure food security in the country.
Dangote commended Emefiele and chief executive officers of banks for ensuring the success of the plants, adding that the time had come for the country to move away from selling crude oil to value-added petroleum products. He urged them to target gas-based industries more, so that the country could witness inflow of dollars and improve the economy.
Speaking, Emefiele said Nigeria has the potential to export not less than 3.5 million metric tonnes of urea to different parts of the world.
“Nigeria needs between one to 1.5 million metric tonnes of urea to meet local demand. So, we have potential to export at least three to four million metric tonnes of urea to different parts of the world.
“With the latest development, Nigeria has become one of the major producers of urea globally. For me, this is a story that no one would have believed would happen in Nigeria.
“Nigeria now ranks among the leading countries in the production of urea in the world. This, for me, is a story that ,” he said. Also speaking, Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, expressed delight at the support to create a world class manufacturing enterprise in Nigeria.
“There was a lot of skepticism along the way. Today, we have seen urea produced. We saw it bagged and we saw it loaded on trucks, and by Monday (yesterday) it will be in the markets. This, for us, is an important milestone for Nigeria and Africa,” Wigwe said.
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