The scarcity of fertilizer in the nation’s market will soon be over as Dangote Industries Limited has confirmed that it has completed its three million metric tonnes granulated urea fertilizer plant.
Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote made the confirmation to the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who went on a final inspection tour of the facility in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos over the weekend.
Dangote said that the three million metric tonnes of Urea is certified and licensed by all regulatory authorities in Nigeria, adding that the products will hit the nation market from next week.
Speaking further, he said “We have gotten all licenses from the National Security Adviser, the Ministry of Agriculture, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, NAFDAC and all other authorities.
“So, our Urea will be in the market from Monday, 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 that the Urea that was inspected was a small percentage of the gas that the country was actually flaring, and it would bring some 1.2billion dollars into the country in terms of foreign exchange.
While thanking Emefiele and the bank chiefs, Dangte noted that it was time the country moved away from relying on crude oil sales.
He urged them to target mostly gas -based industries so the country’s economy could improve and make a lot of dollars.
Earlier in his address, Emefiele said that Nigeria had the potential to export at least 3.5 million metric tonnes of Urea to different parts of the world.
“By the time we add what we have to the existing capacity from Indo Rama which is about 1.5 million metric tonnes and Notore, maybe of about 300 metric tonnes, we will be having close to about five metric tonnes capacity of Urea.
“Nigeria ranks amongst the leading countries in the production of Urea in the world. This, for me, is a story that no one would have believed would happen in Nigeria,” he said.
He added that one of those projects nurtured together with the bankers especially the $17billion project where the foreign and local banks contributed close to $10billion while the Dangote industries contributed the rest as equity is becoming a reality.
He said it is a dream come true because a few years back, some foreign investors doubted it when he told them about it.
“The bankers are here because it is important for them to be convinced about what their monies have been spent on. I am extremely delighted that we were able to have a feel of urea and I am saying that the Nigerian agricultural sector will continue to blossom.
“Four years ago, people in different parts of the world would never believe a project like this can be completed in Nigeria. This is a great fulfilment for me at this time in my career as CBN Governor,” Emefiele said
Speaking on behalf of another chief executive of banks, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe expressed satisfaction for the support they gave to Dangote to create a world class manufacturing enterprise in Nigeria.
”There was a lot of skepticism along the way as we moved on; can this product be completed, are we sure we have the right financing models and all of that.
“Today we saw Urea produced, we saw it bagged and we saw it loaded on buses, and by Monday it would be in our markets. This for us is a very important milestone for Nigeria and Africa,” Wigwe said.