Workers kick as Osinbajo inaugurates Indorama fertilizer plant in P/Harcourt
With air-tight security details, acting President Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday flagged off production line at new fertiliser plant built by Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited in Port Harcourt.
Some Nigerian workers who had written anger-laden petition to the National Assembly were on hand to table their slave-like labour relations with Indians who use Nigerian security agencies attached to the plant to threat workers without human dignity.
Their petition, it would be recalled was read at the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday before it was referred to the House committee for further legislative action.
Business Hilights recalls that the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, had issued a statement in Abuja revealing that the plant, coming with a production capacity of 1.5 million metric tons of Urea fertilizer, is considered the world’s largest single-train Urea plant.
Eleme Petrochemicals Company Ltd, now Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited, was privatised in 2006 after the sale of Federal Government’s 75 per cent shares to a core investor through competitive bidding process.
The new plant with production capacity of 4,000 metric tons of nitrogenous fertiliser per day, was built at the cost of USD1.5 billion.
Government believed that the inauguration of the plant would lead to a green revolution in the agriculture sector in Nigeria, other parts of Africa and beyond, in line with the economic diversification policy of the Buhari administration.
Prof. Osinbajo commended Indorama for keying into the Presidential Fertilizer initiative which President Buhari launched last year to make fertilizers cheaper nationwide.
“At the end of last year, the President launched a Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, to ensure the availability of cheaper fertilizer to our farmers, to support what we’re doing in agriculture, in the production of rice and wheat and other staples.
“That Fertilizer Initiative, now well underway, has created significant economic opportunities for companies like Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited.
“I have been informed that Indorama will this year alone supply about 360,000 Metric Tons of Urea to Fertilizer blenders, which, in turn, will produce NPK fertilizer for the benefit of farmers across the country.
“This is the kind of economic progress we’re after, in which every unlocked opportunity proceeds to unlock several others, across multiple sectors of the economy”, he said
The acting President noted that the Buhari administration will continue to support Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, which was privatised in 2006 by the Federal Government.
According to him, the company 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.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of Indorama Corporation, Mr Sri Prakash Lohia said that the plant which has capacity to produce 1.5 million metric tons of fertilizer per annum is the largest single-train Urea plant in the world.
The Acting President also presented a Certificate of Discharge to the Chairman of Indorama Group, Mr Lohia and the Managing Director, Mr Manish Mundra for successfully accomplishing the post purchase agreement entered into with the Bureau of Public Enterprises on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Analysts believe that aside making fertiliser available to farmers nationwide at an affordable rate, the plant will boost crop yield for farmers and minimise food grain deficit in Nigeria.
However, observers fear the impacts of middlemen and racketeers in the distribution to farmers when production stabilizes.