Osibanjo commissions largest fertilizer plant in Africa
PORT HARCOURT : Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has commissioned a world class fertilizer plant at Indorama, Eleme Petrochemicals limited in Eleme local government area, Rivers state, stressing that the federal government would remain committed to developing the private sector.
Speaking at the ceremony yesterday, Professor Osibanjo said the plant would produce 1.5 million metric tones of Urea per annum, adding that the development was a reflection of the success of the federal government’s privatisation program.
The acting President also handed a certificate to the management of the fertilizer plant formally discharging it from the mandatory five year monitoring program of the Bureau of Public enterprise, BPE.
He said the federal government would continue to support the growth of the fertilizer plant, saying that it had also taken steps to encourage the needed atmosphere for the growth of private businesses.
"The plant commissioned today, I am told, is one of the largest in the world,designed to produce 1.5 mts of Urea fertilizer per annum for the domestic and foreign markets.
I have been informed that Indorama will this year alone supply about 360,000 MT of Urea to Fertilizer blenders, who will in turn produce NPK fertilizer for the benefit of farmers across the country", he said.
He further charged the fertilizer plant not to compromise on best practice even though it had been discharged from the mandatory monitoring program of BPE.
"In conclusion, let me emphasise the need for IEPL to continue to cooperate and collaborate with the BPE.Indorama’s graduation from this Monitoring Programme shouldn't be an excuse to depart from best practice, or from the operational discipline that comes with oversight.And in the near future I expect that the Nigerian public will get a chance ", he said.
Chairman of the fertilizer firm, Mr Sri Prakash Lolua, said with the newly commissioned plant the country would be self sufficient in fertilizer and urea, adding that it would also be a net exporter of Urea to the world.
"I am pleased to report that with the startup of this plant, Nigeria is now more than self-sufficient in urea and has now become a net exporter of urea to the world. This enables Nigeria to save valuable foreign exchange on urea imports and receive foreign exchange from urea exports. In addition, this plant provides direct and indirect employment to hundreds of people besides giving full impetus to the agricultural growth and food security program of thecountry.", he said.
Continuing, he pleaded for support from the government to extend the plant.
"Your Excellency, looking forward, we see the possibility to expand our fertilizer capacity by investing in a 2nd ammonia and urea line.It would make IEFCL one of the largest fertilizer companies in the world with a capacity of almost 3 million tons a year and would make Nigeria one of the major global players in the fertilizer trade.The expansion would also generate $500 million of foreignexchange annually for Nigeria. However, the investment would besignificant once again, over 1 Billion US Dollars. ", he said.
Governor Nyesom Wike in his remarks assured that his administration would continue to support the fertilizer plant, stressing that the state was conducive for investment. "Indorama is investing 1.5 billion dollars in the state , I am happy. This is a state to invest him. I don't see why a nobody will be afraid to invest in the state ", he said,