Osinbajo opens 60,000 metric-tonne fertiliser plant in Edo
Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has inaugurated the Edo Fertiliser Plant and Chemical Company Limited, a public, private venture which has the capacity to produce about 60,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser per annum.
The Vice President, who was accompanied by the ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh; and Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, commended the foresight of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, for creating the enabling business environment which saw to the revitalisation of the fertiliser plant which had been non-functional for about 14 years.
Osinbajo expressed delight at the 500 direct jobs that have been created by the investment, stressing that much more employment opportunities would result from the ancillary economic activities that would be generated by the fertiliser plant.
Commending the governor for having the right attitude to development, he called on leaders across the country in different areas, to dedicate themselves to activities that will improve the lot of their people.
“The President Buhari administration is committed to making it easy for investors to do business in the country. We want to achieve this through the promotion of transparency and efficiency. We want every state to be involved in this drive and create the enabling environment for business to thrive in their domain,” Osinbajo said.
He said the revitalisation of fertiliser blending plants across the country was the direct consequence of the presidential initiative to diversify the economy from crude oil, boost farming activities, as well as develop the agriculture value chain.
He added that agricultural activities in the country could be enhanced significantly, if there was improved access to inputs, hence the drive to make fertiliser, which is a major farm input, easily available and accessible to farmers in Nigeria.
Osinbajo explained that the blending plant would also complement Governor Obaseki’s agricultural development initiative, which is aimed at improving investment in agriculture via public, private partnership, as well as creating jobs for the youth across the three senatorial districts of the state.
In his remarks, Governor Obaseki said the commissioning of the fertiliser plant signified a milestone in his administration, as the facility was never operated for a day after it was fraudulently launched by the opposition party about 14 years ago.
He said what the opposition could not do for nearly a decade, his government, with the support of Edo people, has done in only about nine months.
He said: “The aim of revitalising this plant is to make the state self-sufficient in food production and enable farmers get fertiliser at affordable prices. We in Edo State are determined to make food available in the country.”
He added that the facility would go a long way in providing fertiliser for neighbouring states such as Kogi, Delta, Ondo and Anambra among others, as it was the only blending plant in the region.
Obaseki commended the leadership role played by the Federal Government in the execution of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, as well as the management of WACOT for partnering with the Edo State government in revamping the plant.
“This achievement is an open call to other investors to bring in new technology, create more jobs and expand our economic opportunities,” he said.
The governor called on the Otaru of Auchi, the community where the plant is located, to ensure the protection of the facility against vandalism, as it creates a large range of opportunities for businesses in the community and the state.
In his own remarks, the Group Managing Director of WACOT, Rahul Savara, commended the Vice President for commissioning the plant and governor Godwin Obaseki for fostering the partnership between the state and his company.
Savara said the presidential fertiliser initiative has made local production feasible and sustainable in the country, assuring that the Edo Fertiliser and Chemical Company would be made up of 95 per cent indigenous workers.
In his remark, the Otaru of Auchi, His Royal Highness, Aliru H. Momoh, Ikelebe the III, said the commissioning of the plant demonstrates Governor Obaseki’s zeal to improve the economy, as well as industrialise the state.
“The governor brought in people to revamp this plant and told us at the palace that within three months, it will become functional, we thought it was a joke, but thanks to Allah that we are here to witness the commissioning of the plant,” the traditional ruler said.
Big Read |