Nigeria should not be importing fertiliser, says billionaire businessman

“There is no reason why Nigeria should be importing fertiliser,” believes Aliko Dangote, president of the Dangote Group and the country’s wealthiest person.

Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote

Speaking after a signing ceremony for the construction of the company’s new fertiliser plant, Dangote said that Nigeria should not be importing products for which the country has the raw materials and capacity to produce locally.

Dangote Group noted in a statement that the new plant, said to be the biggest in Africa, will reduce the importation of fertiliser into Nigeria and provide a significant boost to the agricultural sector.

“By the time we have this fertiliser plant structure on ground, the economy will go high up, go haywire, since agriculture is already contributing 46% to 47% to the GDP,” said Dangote.

“Right now, farmers get whatever fertiliser they are given. But we need to know that the fertiliser that will work in Jigawa State, may not work appropriately in Adamawa [State]. They don’t have the same soil type. And the same fertiliser you use for sorghum might not be the same fertiliser you will use for sugar cane. These are the issues,” he added.

It is expected that the new plant will have the capacity to produce 2,200 tonnes of ammonia and 3,850 tonnes of urea, an important nitrogenous fertiliser, per day. The project will be located in Edo State.

Dangote Group has signed an agreement with Saipem Contracting for the construction of the plant. It is projected that production will start in 2014.

Earlier in the year, Forbes ranked Aliko Dangote as Africa’s richest person with an estimated net worth of US$13.8 billion.