Buhari made the remark while inaugurating the multi-billion dollar Dangote Fertilizer Plant at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos,on Tuesday, as part of activities lined up for his one-day working visit to Lagos.
The Dangote Fertiliser Plant is reported to be Africa’s largest granulated urea fertilizer complex, as it occupies 500 hectares of land in the Lekki Free Trade Zone and was built at about $2.5 billion.
It is also expected to help Nigeria retain $125 million in import substitution and provide $625 million from exports of products from the fertilizer plant, Persecondnews.com gathered.
While Nigeria is estimated to need about five to seven million metric tonnes of fertiliser per annum amid its current level of fertilizer consumption at 1.5 million metric tonnes, the Dangote fertilizer complex was established to produce three million metric tonnes of urea fertilizer per annum in its first phase.
He said: “The group’s investment in cement production has ended Nigeria’s dependence on importation of cement. I believe the feat will be repeated in the fertilizer segment.
“The Group is also the second-largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the Federal Government.
“Along with the several other subsidiaries, Dangote Industries Limited has created millions of jobs across Nigeria. It is the second biggest employer of labour in this country after the Federal Government.
“This is very pleasing because job creation by private sector operators is vital security as it takes thousands of youths off the street.
“The nation also stands to gain excessively in earnings of foreign exchange with excess production and export from the plant. I’m informed that you have started exporting to other countries including the United States, India and Brazil.”
Also speaking, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, noted that the commissioning of the fertilizer plant is timely, as the prices of crude oil and fertilisers have been on the increase since the Russia-Ukraine war.
He said: “I am delighted that Dangote has helped Nigeria to solve a perennial fertiliser problem, as the development would aid self-sufficiency in local consumption of the product.
“President Buhari had told us at CBN that he wanted to see urgent support for our farmers and we set out to achieve this. The completion of the plant is the realiszation of the President’s vision.
“The commissioning is timely, as prices of crude oil and fertilisers have been on the increase due to the on-going war between Ukraine and Russia.”
The inauguration was attended by many political, traditional, and religious leaders, as well as key members of the private sector from various parts of the country.
They include Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Others are the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mrs Amina Mohammed and former Lagos State Governor, Chief Bola Tinubu, among others.