Friday, April 16, 2021
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Nigeria to get $1.3b fertilizer plant soonest


President Muhammadu Buhari while speaking in an audience with Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), at the State House, Abuja, assured Nigerians that he had agreed with the Moroccan monarch, King Mohammed IV, that the current phosphate supply agreement between Nigeria and Morocco should be extended, hence the signing of an agreement between the two countries to develop the $1.3 billion chemical manufacturing platform in Nigeria.

Therefore, a new basic chemicals platform worth $1.3 billion that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria will be ready for commissioning in the coming months.

‘‘His Majesty, the King of Morocco and I, have agreed to extend the current Phosphate supply agreement between the Kingdom of Morocco and Nigeria.

‘‘We both believe that to consolidate and expand on the successes recorded thus far, we must secure raw material supplies to our blenders.

‘‘Furthermore, to improve the balance of trade between Nigeria and Morocco, the two countries have signed an agreement to develop a $1.3 billion Basic Chemicals Platform in Nigeria that will produce Ammonia, Phosphoric Acid, Sulphuric Acid and various Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) and Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilisers using Nigeria’s gas reserves, ’’ he said.

Buhari added that the new plant when completed would complement the existing Dangote and Indorama Chemicals facilities which produce urea, ammonia and other industrial raw materials.

He further explained:

‘‘When we combine these projects with the existing 44 blending plants, Nigeria will indeed become a regional and global fertiliser power house.

‘‘Though many investors chose to take their monies out of Nigeria, you continued to invest. Today, we are seeing the fruits of your smart, long term and patriotic decisions.

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‘‘This is why all Nigerians should be proud of the personal commitments and sacrifices you all made in getting us to where we are today.

‘‘Another commendable trait worth mentioning is that all your investments have been balanced between urban and rural Nigeria. These are the types of investments needed to address the unemployment and security challenges our nation is facing today.

Buhari commended Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, Mr Thomas Etuh and his FEPSAN team, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, security and intelligence agencies and all federal and state government agencies for their collaboration in making the project possible.

‘‘I will also use this opportunity, on behalf of Nigerians, to thank my brother and friend, His Majesty, the King of Morocco for being with us during this difficult but exciting journey.

‘‘This mutually beneficial partnership between our two countries is a true example of how intra-Africa trade and partnership should work,’’ he said.

‘‘Today, four years later Mr President, I am proud to inform Your Excellency, and indeed all Nigerians, that mission is accomplished,’’ he said.

FEPSAN Boss, Etuh, told Buhari that from three blending plants operating at 40 per cent capacity in 2016, today Nigeria has 44 blending plants most of which are operating at full capacity.

‘‘From focusing on one fertiliser blend (NPK20:10:10) in 2017, today, we have countless numbers of crop specific blends coming up across the country.

‘‘From being reliant on imports, today over 60 per cent of raw materials used in fertiliser production is locally sourced. From having fertiliser scarcity which led to rationing, today any farmer can buy as many bags as he or she wants. As a matter of fact, some farmer associations even give customised orders for their specific crops. On behalf of the Nigerian farmers we wish to thank Mr President for empowering them,’’ he said.

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‘‘Mr President, just four years ago, FEPSAN used to beg for money. Today Sir, the banks are begging us to take their money,’’ he said.

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