“People are begging us to sell,” he said.
“We are very picky about who we sell this product to. We are loading a ship bound for the United States, Brazil, Mexico and India…the European Union is trying to buy from us,” he added.
Dangote said the fertilizer plant is located on 500 hectares (1,235 acres) of land on the outskirts of Lagos and has the capacity to produce 3 million metric tons of urea annually, making it the second largest in the world.
Urea and ammonia are essential ingredients for farmers to achieve production targets and access to fertilizers has been significantly reduced, threatening the global food supply chain.
“We are fortunate to have this plant,” Dangote added. “It comes just in time with the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in which both Ukraine and Russia control large amounts of agricultural inputs…and this can help a lot of African countries. The export market is a seller’s market.”
The number of people on the brink of famine jumped to 44 million from 27 million in 2019, the United Nations World Food Program said this month. Parts of Africa could sink into starvation in parts of Africa, says Wandil Sihlopo, chief economist at the South African Chamber of Agribusiness. Less than three months if the Russian war in Ukraine continues.
“In the short term, between now and three months, the conflict will affect the food supply primarily from a pricing perspective,” Sihlubo told CNN.
Nigeria has been trying to diversify its economy away from oil for some time and Dangote believes the plant could generate $5 billion in export revenue for the country every year.
“This is a very massive impact. It is very important for the Nigerian economy,” Dangote told CNN.
Central Bank Governor Godwin Imfeli said reducing fertilizer imports was a mainstay in Buhari’s diversification agenda, as it moved the country from being a net importer of the commodity to being self-sufficient.
“In fact, over the past five years, more than 35 million bags of blended fertilizers have been produced in Nigeria. Thus, not only has the fertilizer import bill decreased significantly, but we are also witnessing increased investment in the fertilizer industry, as the fertilizer industry has been mandated today by Dangote Group,” he said during a speech at the opening of the factory.
“Today Nigeria is self-sufficient in the production of urea, and we are also the main producer of urea on the African continent.
Speaking at the event, Bukhari said the plant will help Nigeria end its dependence on food imports.
“The factory creates tremendous opportunities in the field of job creation, warehousing, transportation, and logistics. This will create great wealth, reduce poverty, and help secure our nation’s future.”
Dangote Group is the second largest employer in Nigeria after Federal government.