President Muhammadu Buhari said the Dangote fertilizer plant located in the Lekki Free Trade Zone would reduce foreign exchange pressure on the naira.
Buhari said this on Tuesday when commissioning the $2.5 billion plant, which has the capacity to produce three million metric tons a year.
Since 2020, the CBN had been depleting external reserves to defend the naira in the foreign exchange market due to dollar scarcity.
The bank had several policies in place to increase remittances from the diaspora through the official banking channel.
Currently, banks are rationing dollars among businesses that use the currency to finance foreign transactions due to scarcity.
Buhari, in his speech, said the country would save millions of dollars a year in import substitution.
The Chairman said, “I commend the Chairman and Board of Directors of Dangote Industries Ltd for their business initiative in achieving and constructing this plant to reduce our reliance on imported fertilizers, create jobs on a large scale and create an influx of foreign exchange and accelerate economic growth.
The President also said that Dangote is Nigeria’s largest employer, second only to the Federal Government.
“Along with several other subsidiaries, Dangote Industries Ltd has created thousands of jobs in Nigeria. It is the second largest employer of labor in this country after the Federal Government,” he added.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele called the fertilizer plant timely from the perspective of recent developments in the global market where wheat, fertilizer and crude oil prices soared by more than 30%. following the Russian-Ukrainian war.
He said, “This (fertilizer plant) will not only help enable greater productivity in the agricultural sector, but will also help protect our Nigerian farmers from reliance on imported fertilizers.”
It was estimated that $625 million in admissions would come from exports of factory products.
Emefiele said, “I would like to thank Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the Dangote Group Board for this mammoth project to save Nigeria from the stress of importing foreign currency for fertilizer.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria will continue to provide not only the necessary enabling environment for prosperity, but also provide willing investors in the fertilizer sector and other industries with the necessary support in both naira and the necessary foreign currencies. to import their equipment to support similar investments”.