Connect with us

Headlines

Buhari inaugurates Dangote’s 3m metric tones fertilizer plant

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday declared that Nigeria’s dependence on imported products in the agriculture sector will soon be a thing of the past with the inauguration of Dangote Fertilizer Plant, which has an installed capacity of 3.0 million metric tonnes of Urea per annum.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the President said the plant will further advance Nigeria’s drive towards achieving self-sufficiency in food production, create jobs, increase the inflow of foreign exchange and accelerate economic growth.

Speaking at the commissioning of the plant in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State, the President commended the Chairman, Board and Management of Dangote Industries Limited for their business initiative in conceptualizing and building this plant, which is the second largest in the world.

The President expressed confidence that the investment in this plant will replicate the Group’s earlier exploits in the cement sector, where Dangote Cement holds the enviable record as our continent’s largest cement producer, with footprints in ten other African countries.

‘‘This new plant is a renewed testament to the widely acknowledged patriotism of Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the leadership of Dangote Industries Limited. It also demonstrates their commitment to the socio-economic development of our country and the well-being of our people.

‘‘The Group’s investment in integrated cement plants, spanning the value chain from quarry to ‘bagging, has effectively ended Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement products.

‘‘Along with the several other subsidiaries, Dangote Industries Limited has created thousands 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 to security as it takes thousands of youths off the street,’’ he said.

On other benefits of the plant, the President expressed delight that with the commencement of exports to other countries including the United States, India, and Brazil, Nigeria is already gaining extensively in earnings of foreign exchange from the excess production of, and export from, the plant.

He noted that coming on stream of the plant had created huge opportunities in the areas of job creation, trade, warehousing, transport, and logistics, which would, in turn, create significant wealth, reduce poverty, and help in securing the future of the nation.

‘‘In the agricultural sector, another focal point of our economic policy, we expect a boom as fertilizer is now readily available in greater quantities and better quality.

‘‘Many Nigerians who hitherto practiced subsistence farming because of nonavailability of necessary inputs can now take up agriculture as a business.

‘‘We expect the rise of a new breed of agropreneurs who will add value to farming and make the nation self-sufficient in food production,’’ he said.

President Buhari used the occasion to reassure Nigerians that his government is focused on providing an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, pledging continuity in improving infrastructure, power and security as well as enacting relevant laws and regulations to drive investments in the economy.

‘‘We are partnering with the private sector, through a tax credit scheme, in the rehabilitation of roads across Nigeria under Presidential Order No. 7.

‘‘As we know, good roads contribute to easy movement of goods and services across the nation, thus reducing the cost of doing business and improving productivity.

‘‘We are also rehabilitating our railway lines and building new ones to lessen the burden on our roads and create more effective multi-modal transportation networks,’’ he said.

‘‘I look forward to coming back to inaugurate the Refinery and petrochemical plant later in the year.

‘‘Projects of this magnitude and complexity require the support and collaboration of many persons and organisations. I am grateful to all of them.

‘‘In particular, I would like to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Development Finance Institutions and the Local and Foreign Commercial Banks that have supported the investor to make these projects a reality,’’ the President declared.

Lauding Dangote for helping to rebrand Nigeria through his mega investments across Africa, President Buhari said:

‘‘He has fueled job-led growth and transformation of several African economies. I am proud of his contribution to affirming Nigeria’s leadership status in the continent, and I wish him many more successes in the future.’’

After the historic inauguration, President Buhari inspected the Group’s 650,000 barrels per day Petroleum Refinery and 900,000 tonnes per annum Polypropylene Plant sited within the Dangote Free Trade Zone Complex.

In his remarks, Dangote said the fertiliser complex, which occupies 500 hectares and built at a cost of $2.5 billion will drastically reduce the level of unemployment and youth restiveness in the country, through generation of direct and indirect employment.

”Agriculture accounts for over 20 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP, and the country is a leading producer of various agricultural commodities. The sector has the potential of becoming the biggest source of income for our Nation, providing employment and raw materials for industries.

”However, low fertilizer usage has been a major reason for low productivity  in the sector. It is common knowledge that non availability of the product, in quantity and quality,  rather than affordability, is the primary constraint to the use of fertilizer.

”Our goal is to make fertiliser available in sufficient quantities and quality for our teeming farmers assuring greater agricultural output,” he said.

The Chief Executive of Dangote Industries expressed immense gratitude to President Buhari, for his sustained support and encouragement, and for honoring the invitation to come, in person, and inaugurate the plant.

He also commended the leaders of the host communities and their people for providing a peaceful and conducive environment for the project to thrive, recognizing the many years of enthusiastic teamwork, labour, toil and sweat of the Management and Staff of Dangote  Group for their commitment to high performance,  perseverance and resilience.

The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recounted the role played by a former governor of the State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the establishment of the fertiliser plant and the refinery.

”The idea of having a free zone in the Ibeju Lekki was conceived by our leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed  Tinubu.

”I was with him in 2003, when we took a trip to China and we were trying to conceive a free zone and this is where we are.

”The free zone is not only home to the largest fertilizer plant in Africa but will certainly be home to the largest refinery,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He thanked the President for coming to Lagos, adding that he looked forward to receiving him in a few months’ time to commission more projects.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headlines

How KaLMA boost learning outcomes in Kano state

Published

on

Students in classroom

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Kano Maths and Literacy Accelerator (KaLMA) has boosted learning outcomes in 181 schools across Wudil and Dawakin Tofa local government areas.

KANO FOCUS reports that between January and August 2021, when in-person teaching resumed, the number of primary school children with foundational skills in Hausa and maths grew by 18 per cent, and in English by 11 per cent.

The programme’s impact on lower-level skills was even more significant, rising by 37 per cent in Hausa, 36 per cent in maths, and 39 per cent in English.

Students in classroom

The programme has already reached over 37,000 children and 1,200 teachers. Plans are now in place to extend its impact to 450 schools and 3,000 more teachers in five other government areas of Kano.

Some of the parents said they are impressed with the way they see children from KaLMA implementation schools doing KaLMA activities at home and in the communities.’

They revealed that “Children were not reading in our schools, but they are doing so now in schools with the coming of KaLMA.”

Teacher in classroom

KaLMA is supporting children in Kano state, to build the foundational and language skills they need to succeed.

Funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, KaLMA is a partnership between the British Council, Kano State Universal Basic Education Board, the Ministry of Education, Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, and Teaching at the Right Level Africa.

Continue Reading

Headlines

How gender stereotyping hampers girl child education in Jemagu town

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The trauma of not being able to get husbands after higher education has continued to discourage many parents in Jemagu from sending their girls to school, most especially as their boys hardly go beyond secondary school.

KANO FOCUS reports that in Jemagu town Warawa Local Government Area of Kano State, girls hardly go beyond secondary school because they would find it very difficult to marry as their men don’t usually go for those who go beyond that level.

Men in Jemagu believe that girls who go beyond secondary school would have experienced some social life that would make them very difficult to control. Residents said their children’s education, especially the girls, began and ended in Jemagu primary and secondary schools.

Babangida Adamu is among the men in Jemagu who believe that it is not proper to marry a girl who has gone beyond secondary school. He added that girls who acquire higher education would not like to marry men who have no formal education.

Babangida Adamu

“The truth is that any woman who acquired higher education would not like to marry a man with lower education. I will also not marry a girl who has university degree because I do not have a degree. This is why most men will not like to marry girls with higher education,” Adamu said.

A 25-year-old Khadija Muhammad Jemagu, who recently obtained a diploma in Marketing from the Kano State Polytechnic but does not have government job or husband, said she had resorted to helping a non-governmental organisation to promote girl-child education in her community. She believes there is the need to intensify awareness among parents on the importance of girl-child education.

According to Khadija, many people have told her that since she has chosen western education, it would be difficult for any man in her village to come close to her because the men believe that she is wiser than any man that may be willing to marry her since most of them do not have more than secondary education.

“Even before I finished my diploma, many people would go about saying that since my father had chosen to send us to school, they would see who would come and marry us. And for several years I have been living like this because in this our village, no man has ever come to me with marriage proposal, simply because I have a diploma,” she said.

Jemagu primary school

But despite this belief in Jemagu, some girls like Hussaina Muhammad are still trying to obtain a certificate on education, but there is no man within the community willing to marry her at the moment. She, however, insists that her educational ambition is a priority.

But Hussaina believes she can still get a husband within or outside her community provided she becomes well educated. She vowed that insult and discrimination from men within her village would not discourage her ambition.

“After secondary school, I started my National Certificate in Education (NCE) programme here in Warawa, but you know the belief our people. They see us as prostitutes; therefore, no one will come to offer his hand in marriage to us. But I will not be discouraged because I believe that whenever it is time for me to marry, God will definitely bring a husband for me,” she said.

Zainab Makera was able to get married after secondary school. She wants to proceed but is faced with a difficult choice – to further her education or stay with her husband. She said she had been trying to convince her husband to allow her continue but she was told that if she really wanted to continue with her education, she had to get divorced.

Zainab Makera

Meanwhile, few women who were able to convince their husbands to allow them proceed beyond secondary school “are constantly being rejected by community members,” said Hussaina.

According to education authorities in Warawa Local Government, this belief is not the only problem affecting girl-child education in Jemagu.

Lack of commitment by parents, especially mothers, may have worsened the situation over the years.

“There are several reasons why girls don’t go to school frequently; few of them have to do with the attitude of their parents, especially women who often sent their female children for hawking and other domestic works that stop them from attending classes,” said Munnir Muhammad, an education secretary in Warawa.

On the issue of girls not being able to get husbands after attending higher institution at Jemagu, Munnir believes that the problem is not only in Jemagu or Warawa Local Government.

“It is a general societal problem in northern Nigeria, where men, especially those with formal education usually reject women with higher education. Additionally, the government is working with parents-teachers associations, mothers associations and other relevant stakeholders to improve girl-child education in Warawa Local Government.”

Jemagu town, Warawa local government area

Meanwhile, residents said apart from poverty among the local community, lack of awareness by government authorities and poor education infrastructure, the problem of water supply in Jemagu village is forcing many children, especially girls, to skip school because they have to travel long distance to fetch water for the house. But government authorities assured that the problem of water supply in this village would soon be a thing of the past.

While recognising the threat of rejecting girls beyond secondary school as a major problem affecting girl-child education in the area, the caretaker chairman of Warawa Local Government, Lamido Sanusi, acknowledged that the problem of water is another major issue at Jemagu village. He said their ambition was to ensure that every girl-child is educated from primary school to university level without any form of discrimination across all villages and towns of Warawa Local Government.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Hajj 2024: Kano asks NAHCON to reverse BTA issuance via card

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Director General of Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Lamin Rabi’u Danbappa has described as unjustified, the decision of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, to pay part of the Basic Travel Allowance, BTA, for this year’s Hajj via payment card.

KANO FOCUS reports that the DG made the call at a meeting to discuss the issue pertaining the BTA at he board’s headquarters on Thursday.

It will be recalled that NAHCON had issues a directive to state pilgrims boards pilgrims to pay $200 BTA in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible by the pilgrims via card in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement by the board’s spokesman, Suleman Abdullahi Dederi, Danbappa pointed out that “many pilgrims come from rural areas and may not be familiar with using cards to access their funds in Saudi Arabia.”

Danbappa therefore called on the NAHCON to reconsider this decision, noting that “it imposes additional hardships on the pilgrims, who are already facing challenges due to the high Hajj fare this year.

“The Director General emphasized that requiring pilgrims to use cards in Saudi Arabia could lead to numerous problems during the Hajj exercises.

“He stressed that the BTA is intended to assist pilgrims and should not be a cause of confusion or difficulty,” the statement reads in part.

He urged the relevant authorities to ensure that the BTA is provided in a manner that genuinely assists the pilgrims, without complicating their experience.

The statement added that the Chairman Board of Directors of the Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Yusuf Lawan, led the meeting to discuss the issue pertaining to the BTA.

Lawan stated that the board had recently received a directive from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria regarding the BTA process.

According to the directive, pilgrims will receive only $200 in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible via card in Saudi Arabia.

Continue Reading

Trending