Nigeria targets fertilizer exports with $2.5 billion plant
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on March 22 inaugurated a $2.5 billion fertilizer plant with which Africa’s most populous country hopes to help global supply amid the impact of rising prices after the Russian-Ukrainian war.
“Nigeria’s reliance on imported products in the agricultural sector will soon be a thing of the past,” the Nigerian leader said at the inauguration in Lagos, the commercial capital, of the expectations of the Dangote fertilizer plant. In addition to other agricultural initiatives, including incentives to Farmers.
As the global fertilizer market shakes, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele says the plant’s inauguration is timely as it has ‘helped Nigeria solve a perennial fertilizer problem’ .
Agriculture is a lifeline for Nigeria’s economy, contributing 25.8% of its N72.3 trillion gross domestic product in 2021.
However, farmers are sometimes constrained by limited supplies such as fertilizers and improved seedlings.
With the new fertilizer plant with a capacity of 3 million metric tons per year, Nigeria expects “a boom as fertilizers are now readily available in greater quantity and better quality,” Buhari said.
“We expect the rise of a new breed of agropreneurs who will add value to agriculture and make the nation self-sufficient in food production,” he said, urging many Nigerians to “now embrace farming as a business”.
Fertilizers from the factory located in an industrial estate in Lagos will be exported to many countries including the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico, says Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and factory owner, amid shockwaves from Russia where an ongoing war with Ukraine has cut off supplies.
Around the world, high fertilizer costs are already threatening farmers under sanctions imposed on Russia, a major global fertilizer supplier, where authorities in March urged domestic producers to temporarily halt exports.
“The new plant will make Nigeria self-sufficient in fertilizer production with excess capacity to export to other African markets and the rest of the world,” Dangote said, adding that the plant will “significantly reduce the level of unemployment ” in the country. with an unemployment rate of 33% in December 2020.
“Our goal is to make fertilizers available in sufficient quantity and quality for our many farmers, thereby ensuring greater agricultural production,” Dangote said of the fertilizer plant operations.