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President Buhari Impressed With Dangote’s $2.5bn Fertiliser Plant

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President Buhari Impressed With Dangote’s $2.5bn Fertiliser Plant

…surprised at the scale of investment; says nation set to witness agric boom

Olushola Okunlade Writes

President Muhammadu Buhari today commissioned the new 3 million Metric Tonnes capacity per annum state-of-the-art Dangote Fertiliser Urea Plant, with an emphatic assurance that the project would give a huge fillip to Nigeria’s agricultural sector, which revitalisation has been a focal point of his administration’s economic policy. 

The new plant, which he commissioned in the presence of some 18 governors, ministers, captains of industries as well as prominent traditional rulers, is located at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos Free Trade Zone within the periphery of the Dangote refinery.

A visibly excited President Buhari said the coming on stream of the plant would create huge opportunities in the areas of employment, trade, warehousing, transport, and logistics. The Plant, according to the President “will greatly create wealth, drastically reduce poverty and secure the future of our nation”.

President Buhari Impressed With Dangote’s $2.5bn Fertiliser Plant
Left-Right: Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Mariya Aliko Dangote; Deputy Secretary-General, The United Nations, Amina Mohammed; President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; President Muhammadu Buhari, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Group Executive Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Halima Aliko Dangote, during the commissioning of Dangote Fertiliser 3.0 Metric Tonnes Urea Plant, Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
President Buhari Impressed With Dangote’s $2.5bn Fertiliser Plant
Left-Right: Deputy Secretary-General, The United Nations, Amina Mohammed; President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; President Muhammadu Buhari, and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, during the commissioning of Dangote Fertiliser 3.0 Metric Tonnes Urea Plant, Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

He said, “In the agricultural sector, another focal point of our economic policy, we expect a boom as fertilizer is now readily available. Many Nigerians who hitherto practiced subsistence farming because of the non-availability of necessary inputs can now take up agriculture as a business. We expect a rise of a new breed of agropreneurs who will add value to farming and make the nation self-sufficient in food production.”

According to him, the federal government is now determined more than ever before to provide enabling environment for private sector investors to thrive, adding that his government would continue to improve on infrastructure, power, security, and enact relevant laws and regulations that would drive investments in the economy.

President Buhari reiterated that part of the government’s effort in this regard was the partnership with the private sector government via a tax credit scheme, in the rehabilitation of roads across Nigeria under Presidential Order No. 7.

“As we all know, good roads contribute to easy movement of goods and services across the nation, thus reducing the cost of doing business and improving productivity. We are also rehabilitating our railway lines and building new ones to lessen the burden on our roads and create more effective multi-modal transportation networks,” he added.

In an earlier welcome address, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote described the new plant as a game-changer, as it has the capacity to make Nigeria become self-sufficient in fertilizer production, with spare capacity to export to other markets in Africa and the rest of the world. He added that already, Dangote fertilizer has reached the markets in the USA, Brazil, and Mexico.

According to him, the Fertiliser plant, which is the largest granulated  Urea fertilizer complex in Africa, occupies 500 hectares of land, was built at a cost of $2.5 Billion, and is expected to reduce drastically the level of unemployment and youth restiveness in the country through employment opportunities. To him, the plant is expected to generate new jobs with top-quality fertilizer being available and in sufficient quantities for the farmers.

He stated that agriculture accounts for 20 percent of the nation’s GDP and that the new plant was an ambitious project that would provide both direct and indirect employment, thereby reducing youth restiveness

Dangote Fertiliser, according to him, would ensure the emergence of farmers in the country, providing hundreds of jobs and ushering in a new era of agricultural entrepreneurs, (agroprenuers). “This breed of agroprenuers will take to farming on large scales, providing food and raw materials for our industries,” he added.

Dangote stated that the fertilizer plant is rolling out with innovations that would transform the agricultural sector in the form of extension services for small and medium-scale farmers. It has set up a well-equipped fertilizer soil testing laboratory to enable it to analyze and identify soil deficiency and the appropriate fertilizer blend.

“Studies have shown that applying the right fertilizer to the soil will boost productivity. This service is to cover all the geopolitical zones, and will surely change the agricultural landscape in the country by transforming farming into a lucrative profession.

“Dangote Fertiliser is working with Farmer Associations, Corporate Farmers, NPK Blenders, NGO/development partners and State Governments all over Nigeria, and governments across Africa and beyond who are looking for a sustainable approach to improving soil quality and farm yields,” he explained.

President Buhari Impressed With Dangote’s $2.5bn Fertiliser Plant
Left-Right: President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; President Muhammadu Buhari; and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, during the commissioning of Dangote Fertiliser 3.0 Metric Tonnes Urea Plant, Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday, March 22, 2022
President Buhari Impressed With Dangote’s $2.5bn Fertiliser Plant
Left-Right: President/CE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote; Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; President Muhammadu Buhari; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan during the commissioning of Dangote Fertiliser 3.0 Metric Tonnes Urea Plant, Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Speaking at the occasion, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele said Nigeria is indeed indebted to Aliko Dangote for his giant stride to add value to Nigeria’s economy. According to him, “It is great that a Nigerian has taken not just this great initiative of helping to solve our perennial problem of importing petrochemical products including fertilizer but has taken advantage of the emerging huge market opportunity presented by recent global developments.”

Emefiele commended President Buhari for providing all the support needed to put in place economic policies that would reverse the trend of the doldrums, pointing out that the completion of the fertilizer plant is a stellar example of the realization of the vision.

The CBN governor described the fertilizer plant as timely considering the recent developments in the global market, where prices of wheat, fertilizer, and crude oil spiked by over 20 percent, following the start of the Russia – Ukraine war.

“In addition to the lessons we learned from the protectionist actions of countries during the early days of COVID-19, this investment is again a glaring testament to the foresight and tireless efforts of Mr. President in encouraging domestic production of items that can be produced in Nigeria, especially agriculture. This would not only help to enable greater productivity of our agricultural sector but also help in insulating Nigerian farmers from depending on imported fertilizer,” Emefiele stated.

He recalled that prior to 2015 when President Buhari resumed office, Nigeria had a fertilizer shortfall of about 3.5 million tonnes per annum compared to the over 6 million tonnes per annum required in the country.

“Then President Buhari inaugurated the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative and charged them with resolving this problem. With sustained efforts, other indigenous companies like Indorama and Notore with a combined capacity of over 2.5 million tonnes per annum have tried to match the market demand, yet the country still faced a huge shortfall of fertilizer supply. Today, Nigeria is self-sufficient in the production of urea, and we are also the leading producer of urea in the African continent,” he added.

The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar called on other investors to rise up to the occasion, noting that the Dangote Fertiliser would help to solve the problem of fertilizer shortages in Nigeria. He also assured that the government would enforce standards in the industry to maintain quality.

Lagos state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended Alhaji Aliko Dangote for always blazing the trail, noting that the Lagos state government was happy to be hosting many of his businesses. He added that “with the largest fertilizer plant in Africa in Lagos and the largest refinery in the world coming soon, there is nobody that would not be proud of Alhaji Dangote.”

The governor stated that Nigeria would quickly forget its many economic problems if another entrepreneur like Dangote could be replicated in other regions of Nigeria.

Sanwo-Olu also said that private investors could always count on the Lagos State government when it comes to the provision of an enabling environment to make businesses thrive. 

Agriculture

Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN Sustains Investment In The Next Generation Of Farmers

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Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN Sustains Investment In The Next Generation Of Farmers

Olushola Okunlade Writes

With the Nigerian population expected to reach 230 million by 2025, food security is of considerable importance.

Today, the demand for food appears to be outstripping supply as a result of reduced productivity combined with post-harvest waste. To reverse this trend, we need innovative solutions to modernize our farming methods. We must look beyond the farmgate and harvest towards food transformation and preservation. This is where entrepreneurs in the agriculture space, also referred to as agripreneurs, come in.

Nigeria is a country with one of the youngest populations, with a median age of 18 years
and about 70% of the population under 30 (National Population Commission), yet the
average age of farmers today is 50 years. This is evidently a gap we must fill to ensure we
not only feed the present generation, but we secure the future. To achieve this, we must
build sustainable food systems by attracting and building active youth participation in the
agricultural sector.

GOLDEN MORN, one of Nestlé Nigeria’s leading brands, has, therefore, created an Agripreneurship Webinar Series in collaboration with the Enterprise Development Center of the Pan Atlantic University to promote sustainable food systems by increasing youth participation in the sector. The program provides support for young entrepreneurs already
engaged in or set to start up businesses in the agricultural sector through training,
funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Over 200 young agripreneurs have
benefited in the 4 series of the webinar so far.

Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN Sustains Investment In The Next Generation Of Farmers
Left-Right: Obianuju Okafor, Project & Finance Manager of the Enterprise Development Center (EDC), Pan Atlantic University; Shakiru Lawal, Country HR Manager, Nestlé Nigeria PLC; Ifeanyi Orabuche, Category, and Marketing Manager Dairy, Nestlé Nigeria PLC; Salome Azevedo, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Central, and West Africa.
Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN Sustains Investment In The Next Generation Of Farmers
Participants/Beneficiaries of the project with Salome Azevedo, Business Executive Officer, Nestlé Central & West Africa, and Ifeanyi Orabuche, Category and Marketing Manager Dairy, Nestlé Nigeria PLC.

In his comments at the event to present grants to the nine beneficiaries from the third
and the fourth session of GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship Webinar series, the MD/CEO
Nestlé Nigeria PLC, Wassim Elhusseini, said, “I am excited at yet another opportunity to
celebrate the next generation of farmers who will continue to feed our rapidly growing
population, the entrepreneurs, and innovators of tomorrow. Your passion validates the
the strategic importance of GOLDEN MORN’s investment to provide support, opportunities, and platforms to enable you to create or scale your businesses and improve livelihoods within the agricultural value chain.”

“I encourage you, to take advantage of the grants you will receive today, to leverage the
mentorship and the networks that you have formed, to make a significant impact by
creating jobs for the teeming Nigerian youths,” he added.

Also speaking during the presentation, Obianuju Okafor, Project & Finance Manager of
the Enterprise Development Center (EDC), Pan Atlantic University said, “Entrepreneurship
is a critical pathway to improving the economy and upscaling the Agricultural value chain.
We are delighted that our continued collaboration with Nestlé GOLDEN MORN on the
Agripreneurship Webinar Series continues to provide excellent opportunities for young
agripreneurs to be trained in creating and running sustainable business models, to
enable them to increase their business productivity, ultimately impacting positively on the
the economy of the nation”.

Responding on behalf of all the beneficiaries, Joshua Bitrus of Agrigain Locura Ventures, Kaduna, said, “I am delighted to be a recipient of the GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship
Webinar Series
grant. The grant will definitely go a long way towards actualizing business
expansion, not only for myself but also for my fellow recipients. I call on other young
people to take advantage of the opportunities provided by companies such as Nestlé
Nigeria.”

GOLDEN MORN is an iconic brand from the stable of Nestlé, the Good Food, Good Life
the company is committed to unlocking the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come.

The Webinar series exposes young agripreneurs to relevant training on different aspects of the agricultural value chain, with a focus on grains. Post training, beneficiaries are supported with seedling and mentorship to enable them to thrive in their businesses. The fifth series of the program is scheduled for October 2022. The webinar is open to all budding or existing agric-based entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35 years.

About GOLDEN MORN: GOLDEN MORN is a nutritious and great-tasting cereal made from homegrown Nigerian Maize and Soya Protein. It is fortified with vitamins and minerals, aligned to the highest international quality standards.

With 100% of the grains used to produce GOLDEN MORN cereal sourced locally, the brand is not only contributing to sustaining Nestle’s local sourcing ambitions but is also positively impacting the local economy by cultivating the next generation of farmers.

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Agriculture

Nestlé’s GOLDEN MORN – Building The Next Generation Of Agripreneurs

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Nestlé’s Golden Morn – 35 years of investment in Agriculture

…GOLDEN MORN impacts the local economy positively

…As a force for good, our brand purpose help to drive societal progress by Creating Shared Value across the value chain – Uwadoka

…Nestle Nigeria exposes farmers to different aspects of the agricultural value chain

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Over the years, GOLDEN MORN has worked with local farmers who supply the homegrown maize and soya beans used in the production of the nutritious family cereal. With 100% of the grains sourced locally, GOLDEN MORN is not only sustaining Nestle’s local sourcing ambition but is also impacting the local economy positively by providing a sustainable means of livelihood for the farmers and other players across the value chain.

Raising the next generation of farmers and “agripreneurs” is critical, not just for ensuring the availability of grains for meeting GOLDEN MORN’s needs, but also for building thriving communities and sustained economic advancement.

Wassim Elhusseini MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria PLC.
Wassim Elhusseini MD/CEO, Nestlé Nigeria PLC.

Therefore, in October 2021, the brand launched GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship Series in collaboration with The Enterprise Development Centre of the Pan Atlantic University to promote youth participation in the agricultural sector through training and provision of grants for the most promising agriculture business proposals by the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are exposed to different aspects of the agricultural value chain and are provided with seedlings and mentorship to help them succeed as farmers post-training.

Victoria Uwadoka, Nestlé Nigeria’s Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager said, “As a force for good, our brands with purpose help to drive societal progress by Creating Shared Value across their value chain. This way, Nestlé is driving impact at scale across critical socio-economic sectors including agriculture to build a sustainable mutually beneficial ecosystem.”

“The GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship Series seeks to train and provide support to young entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector in order to promote sustainable food systems in Nigeria. Over the years, the brand has consistently supported the growth of a thriving ecosystem of farmers and is now attracting and equipping young agripreneurs, who will ensure continuity from the current generation. Equipping these future farmers will ensure a continuous supply of high-quality grains to Nestlé while contributing towards ensuring nutrition and food security to cater to our rapidly growing population estimated to reach 400 million by 2050.”

Speaking at the opening session of the fourth season, Ifeanyichukwu Orabuche, Category & Marketing Manager Dairy, Nestlé Nigeria PLC, said, “As a brand, we are excited to further extend investment towards creating value for young agripreneurs aged 18 to 35 years, who are already participating in or are interested in the grains value chain. Through the series, we aim to positively impact the local economy by growing agribusinesses to create job opportunities for young Nigerians. Beyond the training and mentoring opportunity, the series provides, beneficiaries who excel during the training also stand a chance to win seed funding for their businesses”.

The two-day virtual training covers various aspects of the agriculture value chain including sales and marketing facilitated by credible and experienced professionals in the agriculture sector.

Obianuju Okafor, Project & Finance Manager of the Enterprise Development Center, Pan Atlantic University said, “We are delighted that our partnership with GOLDEN MORN is now in its fourth season. Through this partnership, we are building a community of young agripreneurs who can go on to foster innovative ideas and trends in the agricultural sector to build sustainable food systems now and in the future”.

Since the commencement of the GOLDEN MORN Agripreneurship webinars, over 200 youths have benefitted from the opportunity provided by the brand with seven of them receiving a total of 3.5 Million Naira to scale their businesses. Nestlé GOLDEN MORN is an iconic brand from the stable of Nestlé, the good food, good life company, committed to unlocking the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come. Developed in Nigeria in 1986, the homegrown brand has evolved into an iconic brand, loved
and trusted by Nigerian families.

Milo Basketball Championship Central Conference Ends In Ilorin As Benue, FCT Win

Know More About Nestlé Nigeria: Nestlé Nigeria is one of the largest food and beverage companies in Africa. For over 58 years, the company has been delighting consumers around Nigeria by consistently delivering high-quality nutritious food. With a staff strength of over 2,200 direct employees, 3 manufacturing sites, 7 branch offices, and a head office located in Lagos, the company produces and markets several iconic brands including NESTLÉ PURELIFE, GOLDEN MORN, MILO, MAGGI, and NESCAFÉ.

Nestlé’s purpose is to unlock the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come.

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Agriculture

How The War In Ukraine Is Impacting Global Food Security

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How The War In Ukraine Is Impacting Global Food Security

CNN’s David McKenzie reports on how the war in Ukraine is causing a shortage of wheat and grain leading to impacts on global food security.

Russia and Ukraine are both agricultural export powerhouses and the war is impacting supply chains across the world.

In Kenya, farmer Caroline Kimarua has been forced to lay off staff following rising fertilizer costs. Russia is one of the biggest fertilizer producers in the world. The cost of fertilizer and the natural gas used to make it have soared. Sanctions and trade disruption could push prices even higher.

CNN also speaks to workers at a bakery in Lagos, Nigeria, where the supply of yeast has been affected.

Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist for the Agriculture Business Chamber of South Africa, says that the war has come at a particularly bad time, when many countries were beginning to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, “The war is starting at one of the worst times. Because we were already thinking we are in recovery mode. On top of that, there were already inflation pressures that were across the world.”

Sihlobo adds, “Africans are spending a lot on fuel and spending a lot on food and in this current moment this is a tough time for the continent.”

The impact of this conflict is coming on top of soaring global grain prices. While countries across the world are feeling the impact, economists are highlighting specific African countries like Senegal and Somalia which rely heavily on Ukrainian and Russian wheat.

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