Dangote Petrochemicals and fertilisers and Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals, have invested $4.5bn to improve and boost the country’s fertiliser industry, the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership has said.
A fertiliser consultant with AFAP, Mr. Scott Wallace, told journalists at the end of a four-day Nigeria Fertiliser Roadmap Stakeholders Consultative meeting in Abuja on Monday that Dangote fertiliser plant would begin operation by 2017, and would produce no fewer than 2.8 million tonnes of fertiliser, while Indorama would be on board with 1.4 million tonnes.
He said the investments which would be basically from the private sector were to boost agricultural productivity and reduce the country’s over dependence on oil.
He said, “When Dangote comes on line, Nigeria will be exporting close to 4 million tonnes of fertiliser a year at 200 dollars per tonne and that will bring a significant foreign exchange in Nigeria.
“Their respective investments have been the largest ever in the Nigerian agriculture sector.
“Nigeria has been mining a lot and this makes the soil to become weak for agricultural purposes.
“Fertiliser is very important if Nigeria wants to make head way in agriculture.”
Similarly, Prof. Richard Mkandawire, the Vice-President of AFAP, called on the Federal Government to equip its fertiliser regulatory agencies to avoid invasion of fake fertilisers into Nigerian markets.
Mkandawire also appealed to the government to employ the services of extension workers to verify the quality of fertilisers before its usage by farmers.
The Dangote projects at Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos is reputed to be the biggest in Africa when completed for diversification of Nigeria’s economy in agriculture and solid minerals.
Indorama is an Asian Petrochemicals company based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The AFAP is an independent non-profit organisation created by a partnership of African development organisations.
It works with private businesses to establish more competitive and sustainable fertiliser markets in Africa and to contribute to an African Green Revolution.