Our able President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, that the new 3 million Metric Tonnes per annum state-of-the-art Dangote Fertiliser Urea Plant had been commissioned, emphasizing that the project would provide a significant boost to Nigeria’s agricultural sector, whose revitalization has been a focal point of his administration’s economic policy.

The new facility is located on the outskirts of the Dangote refinery in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos Free Trade Zone, and was dedicated in the presence of 18 governors, ministers, business executives, and traditional rulers.

President Buhari, clearly overjoyed, stated that the plant’s completion will open up vast opportunities in employment, trade, storage, transportation, and logistics. The Plant, according to the President, “would significantly boost wealth, massively alleviate poverty, and preserve our nation’s future.”

“We anticipate a surge in the agriculture sector, another key component of our economic policy, now that fertilizer is widely available,” he said. Many Nigerians who were previously forced to practice subsistence farming due to a scarcity of crucial inputs may now pursue agriculture as a business. We foresee the rise of a new generation of solopreneurs who will add value to farming and assist the country in becoming food self-sufficient.”

As he stated, the federal government is more determined than ever to create an enabling environment for private sector investors to thrive, and his administration will continue to improve infrastructure, power, and security, as well as enact relevant laws and regulations that will drive economic investment.

President Buhari emphasized that the government’s action in this area included collaboration with the private sector government through a tax credit system in the rebuilding of roads throughout Nigeria, as outlined in Presidential Order No. 7.

“As we all know, good roadways make it easier to transfer goods and services across the country, decreasing corporate expenses, and increasing productivity.” “We are also rehabilitating and building new railway lines to relieve congestion on our roadways and to construct more effective multi-modal transportation networks,” he added.

He said that agriculture accounted for 20% of the country’s GDP and that the new factory was an ambitious endeavor that would create both direct and indirect jobs, reducing youth unemployment.

Dangote Fertiliser, he claims, will ensure the emergence of farmers in the country, creating hundreds of jobs and ushering in a new era of agricultural entrepreneurs (agroprenuers). “This type of solopreneur will engage in large-scale farming, delivering food and raw materials to our firms,” he explained further.

The fertilizer factory, according to Dangote, is offering innovations that will change the agricultural business in the form of extension services for small and medium-scale farmers. It has set up a well-equipped fertilizer soil testing laboratory to assess and diagnose soil deficiencies as well as the appropriate fertilizer mix.

“Studies have shown that applying the right fertilizer to the soil boosts productivity.” This service will cover all geopolitical zones and will surely transform the agricultural scene in the country by making farming a rewarding career.

“Dangote Fertiliser is collaborating with Farmer Associations, Corporate Farmers, NPK Blenders, NGO/development partners, and State Governments across Nigeria, as well as governments across Africa and beyond, to discover a sustainable plan to improve soil quality and agricultural production,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, stated that Nigeria owes Aliko Dangote thanks for his significant contributions to the Nigerian economy. “It is incredible that a Nigerian has not only taken this fantastic step of assisting in addressing our chronic issue of importing petrochemical commodities such as fertilizer but has also taken use of the rising large market potential provided by recent global breakthroughs,” he says.

Emefiele congratulated President Buhari for providing all the help needed to adopt economic measures that would reverse the trend of doldrums, stating that the fertilizer factory’s completion is a bright illustration of the goal being fulfilled.

The CBN governor praised the fertilizer factory, citing recent global market events in which wheat, fertilizer, and crude oil prices jumped by more than 20% following the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“This investment is yet another glaring testament to Mr. President’s foresight and tireless efforts in encouraging domestic production of items that can be produced in Nigeria, particularly agriculture, in addition to the lessons we learned from countries’ protectionist actions during the early days of COVID-19.” “Not only would this improve the productivity of our agricultural industry, but it would also assist to shield Nigerian farmers from reliance on imported fertilizer,” Emefiele said.

Prior to 2015, when President Buhari took office, Nigeria had a fertilizer deficit of approximately 3.5 million tonnes per year, compared to the country’s need of more than 6 million tonnes per year.

“President Buhari then formed the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, which was tasked with addressing this issue.” Other indigenous firms, such as Indorama and Notre, which have a combined capacity of more than 2.5 million tonnes per year, have made considerable efforts to meet market demand, but the country still confronts a significant shortfall in fertilizer supply. “Today, Nigeria is self-sufficient in urea production, and we are also the largest urea producer on the African continent,” he stated.

Dr. Mahmood Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture, invited other investors to step up, emphasizing that Dangote Fertiliser will help Nigeria address its fertilizer scarcity crisis. In addition, he stated that the government will impose industry standards to assure quality.

Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, hailed Alhaji Aliko Dangote for always paving the way, saying that the Lagos state government was glad to host numerous of his enterprises. “There is no one who would not be proud of Alhaji Dangote,” he continued, “with the largest fertilizer facility in Africa in Lagos and the greatest refinery in the world coming soon.”

The governor stated that if another entrepreneur like Dangote could be replicated in other parts of Nigeria, Nigeria would quickly forget its numerous economic problems.

Sanwo-Olu also stated that private investors could always rely on the Lagos State administration to create a conducive environment for business growth.