Our Dependence on Imported Products to End Soon – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that Nigeria’s dependence on imported products in the agriculture sector will soon be a thing of the past with the inauguration of Dangote Fertilizer Plant, which has an installed capacity of 3.0 million metric tonnes of Urea per annum.
Speaking at the commissioning of the plant in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State, the President said the plant will further advance Nigeria’s drive towards achieving self-sufficiency in food production, create jobs, increase the inflow of foreign exchange and accelerate economic growth.
He commended the Chairman, Board and Management of Dangote Industries Limited for their business initiative in conceptualizing and building the plant, which is the second largest in the world.
The President expressed confidence that the investment in this plant will replicate the Group’s earlier exploits in the cement sector, where Dangote Cement holds the enviable record as our continent’s largest cement producer, with footprints in ten other African countries.
‘‘This new plant is a renewed testament to the widely acknowledged patriotism of Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the leadership of Dangote Industries Limited. It also demonstrates their commitment to the socio-economic development of our country and the well-being of our people.
‘‘The Group’s investment in integrated cement plants, spanning the value chain from quarry to ‘bagging, has effectively ended Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement products.
‘‘Along with the several other subsidiaries, Dangote Industries Limited has created thousands of jobs across Nigeria. It is the second biggest employer of labour in this country, after the Federal Government.
‘‘This is very pleasing because job creation by private sector operators is vital to security as it takes thousands of youths off the street,’’ he said.
On other benefits of the plant, the President expressed delight that with the commencement of exports to other countries including the United States, India, and Brazil, Nigeria is already gaining extensively in earnings of foreign exchange from the excess production of, and export from, the plant.
He noted that coming on stream of the plant had created huge opportunities in the areas of job creation, trade, warehousing, transport, and logistics, which would, in turn, create significant wealth, reduce poverty, and help in securing the future of the nation.
‘‘In the agricultural sector, another focal point of our economic policy, we expect a boom as fertilizer is now readily available in greater quantities and better quality.
‘‘Many Nigerians who hitherto practiced subsistence farming because of nonavailability of necessary inputs can now take up agriculture as a business.
‘‘We expect the rise of a new breed of agropreneurs who will add value to farming and make the nation self-sufficient in food production,’’ he said.
After the historic inauguration, President Buhari inspected the Group’s 650,000 barrels per day Petroleum Refinery and 900,000 tonnes per annum Polypropylene Plant sited within the Dangote Free Trade Zone Complex.
In his remarks, Dangote said the fertiliser complex, which occupies 500 hectares and built at a cost of $2.5 billion will drastically reduce the level of unemployment and youth restiveness in the country, through generation of direct and indirect employment