Several vice chancellors of Nigerian universities astonished at the significant financial resources put in the Plant when visiting the Dangote Fertilizer facility over the weekend under the auspices of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors.
The heads of the universities all agreed that Dangote should be given special recognition for his role in the Nigerian agricultural revolution through the fertiliser initiative.
Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, secretary of the Nigerian Committee of Vice-Chancellors, claimed that five Aliko Dangotes were all that was required for Nigeria to experience true economic growth and prosperity.
He challenged other Nigerian billionaires to follow Dangote’s lead and make large investments in manufacturing to drastically lower the high young unemployment rate and ease the misery of many Nigerians.
He stated: “We chose to come and observe organisational wellness and resilience in action, and we know that Aliko is one of the most resilient businesspeople our nation has ever created, so it is crucial to come and experience that action.
“We came to see how one man’s dream and vision and big picture can translate into something like this and I can say that this visit has exceeded all our expectations because nothing you see on television or even read in Newspapers can match the reality when you come here physically and see this massive edifice and process in place.
“Dangote is an enigma and like I said earlier, if we have five of his types across Nigeria or across Africa, this country and continent will be a different story entirely. We are truly very proud of him…”
During the tour of the fertiliser plant, Prof. Nnenna Oti, vice chancellor of the Federal University of Technology in Owerri, praised the partnership between the Lagos State Government and Kano State’s Aliko Dangote, calling it the ideal representation of what Nigeria should be.
She said: “This plant is quite impressive. We wish we had more Nigerians who are investing in our country, creating opportunities and solving real problems as well as giving back to society as Aliko Dangote is doing…
“What is more impressive is that somebody from a different part of the county has enough confidence in another part of the country and there is this synergy between the different elements, the cooperation from the Lagos State Government and a man from Kano…this is the Nigeria of my dream,” she added.
The vice chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, also expressed delight with the factory’s operations and noted that the facility’s 3 million tonnes of granulated urea would significantly help Nigeria’s food shortages.
She said: “This trip to Dangote Fertiliser has been awesome. …when the president said that there was going to be a state of emergency against poverty, we now know that Dangote is contributing enormously to the growth of the nation, to the availability of food security, through the provision of fertiliser, which is an important component in crop and food production…
“I am very impressed. This factory is enormous, huge funds have gone into it and it will have a positive effect on the nation’s economy. The likes of Aliko Dangote are rare, and Nigeria should be thankful for having a bold man that is always willing to take huge risks, in our midst,” she added.
In the same vein, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Tanko Ishaya, urged the Federal Government to specially recognise Aliko Dangote, as he has braved the odds to provide real solution to one of the key problems, facing the country: food security.
He said: “We have all gone round the factory and I must confess that this is a fantastic environment, and we want to congratulate the President of Dangote Group for having that vision and for implementing the vision.”
Recall that the Dangote Urea Fertiliser plant was built to tap into Nigeria’s demand for fertiliser, a critical component of achieving food sufficiency for Africa’s most populous country.
The Fertiliser plant is manufacturing 3 million metric tonnes of urea per annum, with a view to reducing the nation’s fertiliser imports, and generating over $400m annual foreign exchange from export to Africa countries.
Managing Director/CEO, Dangote Fertiliser Limited, Vishawajit Sinha, revealed that the Plant which has the capacity to turn out more than 4,500 tonnes of urea per day will conveniently meet the local demand and even produce for exports.
He said, “We have the ability to produce 4,500 tonnes of urea daily. This fertiliser is meant for mass application. Every crop in Nigeria and throughout the world needs nitrogen, and this fertiliser is high in nitrogen at 46%. The business is able to export to countries in Africa and meet local demand.
The facility, the largest granulated urea fertiliser complex in Africa, was constructed at a cost of $2.5 billion and covers 500 hectares of land. By creating jobs, it is anticipated to significantly lower the level of unemployment and youth unrest in the nation.
With top-notch fertiliser available and in ample quantities for the farmers, the factory is anticipated to create new jobs.