Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday inaugurated a fertilizer plant built by Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited in the southern city of Port Harcourt.
The plant, with a production capacity of 1.5 million metric tons of Urea fertilizer, is considered the world’s largest single-train Urea plant.
The plant, which has a production capacity of 4,000 metric tons of nitrogenous fertilizer per day or 1.5 million tonnes per annum, was built at a cost of $1.5 billion dollars by the Indo-Nigerian company.
The opening of the plant is expected to boost agriculture not just in Nigeria, but also in Africa. The continent spends more than $35 billion annually on imported food.
Indorama says fertilizer from the factory would be made available to farmers in Nigeria at affordable cost. This will boost crop yield for farmers and help in reducing the country’s food production deficit.
Acting President Osinbajo used the opportunity to remind all Nigerians that time had come for them to grow whatever they eat and produce whatever they consume.
“What Indorama is accomplishing today is very much in line with President Buhari’s vision for a country that produces what it consumes, and grows what it eats. If you had to sum up our vision for the Nigerian economy in a few words, these would suffice. Grow what we eat, produce what we consume,” he said.
Osinbajo commended Indorama for keying into the Presidential Fertiliser initiative, which Buhari launched last year, to make fertilisers cheaper to farmers nationwide, aimed at supporting agriculture, in the production of rice, wheat and other staples.
According to the acting president, “That fertiliser Initiative, now well underway, has created significant economic opportunities for companies like Indorama Eleme Fertiliser & Chemicals Limited.
He assured that the Buhari administration will continue to support the company, formerly called Eleme Petrochemicals Company Ltd which was privatised in 2006 by the Federal Government, and has turned out to be a huge success story.
“I am glad that we’re here today to see one of the success stories of the Federal Government’s privatisation programme. We will continue to support Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited’s expansion ambitions. Our commitment to the privatisation programme is equally assured, and we will continue to do everything to support investors to maximise the potential of their assets,” he said
The construction of the plant commenced in April 2013, and completed in December 2015. The commissioning activities were concluded in March 2016, and the commercial production started in June 2016.