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Nigeria’s President Buhari launches $2.5 billion Dangote Fertilizer Plant. To whose benefit exactly?

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President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria was in Lagos on Tuesday, the commercial capital of Nigeria for the launch of what experts have called the largest fertilizer plant in Africa owned by Africa’s richest man, and President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

According to the official website of the plant, Dangote Fertiliser Plant is Africa’s largest Granulated Urea Fertiliser complex. The plant occupies 500 hectares of land in Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos Nigeria. It was built at a cost of $2.5 Billion.

Also at the inauguration of the $2.5 billion project were dignitaries including Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele, and Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment Niyi Adebayo.

With food being a basic necessity of life and growing food shortage across the world that has been further enhanced by the ongoing Ukraine/Russia war, the use of fertilizers is central to sustainable productivity in the agriculture sector as the shortage of fertilizers has contributed to the worsening food crisis with about 250 million people going to bed hungry and Africa spending more than $35 billion on food imports annually as it continues to grapple with low agricultural productivity.

The launch of the Dangote plant is timely as many African soils are unable to supply crops with the nutrients they need due to infertility and degradation that has stemmed from inappropriate land-use practices over several centuries.

Beyond serving the Nigeria and Africa fertilizer market, the plant is said to be established to produce 3 million metric tonnes per annum of urea fertilizer in phase 1 which is above Nigeria’s current level of fertilizer consumption in the country which is 1.5 million metric tonnes.

While delivering his speech shortly after the mega project was commissioned, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said that the products from its newly commissioned fertilizer plant are already in the African market as well as the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.

 

If things turned as they seem, the new fertilizer plant should mean a major leap in Nigeria’s agriculture sector with President Muhammadu Buhari’s many agric-based initiatives. However, the peculiarity of Nigeria informs that enthusiasm should be with caution. Amidst the many challenges of industrialization in Nigeria, fingers are crossed on the efficiency of the plant, hopefully, it does not go the way of the Dangote tomatoes processing factory that has repeatedly shut down operation.

VenturesNow

IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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Botswana central bank predicts fall of inflation rates, maintains monetary policy

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Botswana’s central bank has predicted that the country’s inflation rate will gradually fall back within its target range by 2024.

The bank is predicting that inflation will fall back within the 3%-6% range in the third quarter of 2024. The prediction has made it keep its monetary policy rate unchanged at 2.65% on Thursday.

The bank’s governor, Moses Pelaelo while speaking at a news conference said “the domestic economy will continue to perform below capacity in the medium term and therefore not pose any inflationary pressures.”

The inflation rate in the Southern African country dipped to 13.1% year on year in October from 13.8% in September but is still far above the central bank’s 3%-6% preferred band.

“The drop in inflation in the past months is due to the dissipating effects of previous increases in administered prices,” Pelaelo said.

According to the World Bank, Botswana’s reliance on diamonds and a public sector-driven model makes the economy vulnerable to external shocks, as diamonds contribute over 80% of total exports and are a major source of fiscal revenues.

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