Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote’s new fertiliser plant near Lagos will export its first shipment in late June or early July, to Louisiana, while the majority of exports from the plant are expected to go to Brazil, Dangote said on Tuesday.
The new plant at the Lekki Free Zone in Lagos State, designed to manufacture 3 million tonnes of urea per year, will also be able to supply all the major markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Dangote told a virtual economic forum hosted by Qatar.
“Apart from meeting the domestic demand, we are going to be able to earn quite a lot of money exporting the goods to the South American countries,” he said.
Many in Nigeria also hope the Dangote plant will help alleviate chronically low crop yields in Africa’s most populous country, which are partly due to insufficient access to fertiliser.
According to the World Bank, Nigeria consumed around 20 kg of fertiliser per hectare of arable land in 2018, compared with 73 kg in South Africa and 393 kg in China.
Nigeria’s Central Bank bars the use of its foreign exchange for fertiliser imports as part of a raft of controls aimed at boosting domestic production.