We are pleased to welcome you today to the commissioning of the rehabilitated Edo State Fertilizer and Chemical Company Limited (ESFCCL), Auchi, Edo State.
The Fertilizer plant which was established over 14 years ago was abandoned and nearing full dilapidation, as previous Federal Government Policies favored the importation of Fertilizer. However, the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari launched in 2016 has made local fertilizer production viable and sustainable. The new Fertilizer Policy simply encouraged investors like us to identify and rehabilitate abandoned national treasures such as this plant.
Of course, it is the vision of His Excellency, the Governor of Edo State and the investor and Agribusiness-friendly policies of the Edo State Government that made this partnership with Edo State the success that it is today.
The abandoned Fertilizer plant as we knew it is gone. What we have now is an upgraded, state-of-the-art facility. This first phase has the capacity to blend over 60,000 metric tonnes of NPK fertilizer and is configured to handle both physical and compound fertilizer blending – one of the few with such capabilities in Nigeria.
As the Factory operations gather momentum, we will be creating about 500 direct and indirect jobs, 95% of which will be for Edo State indigenes.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, WACOT Group is strongly committed to the administration’s vision of attaining food self-sufficiency and economic prosperity through agriculture. And we have backed this commitment with action through continuous significant investments and interventions targeted at various agricultural value chains.
Your Excellency, Mr Vice President, less than a month ago, you honored us in Argungu by commissioning our rice mill. Today, you have obliged us in Auchi celebrating our partnership with Edo State.
As I speak to you now, we are setting up a sesame cleaning plant in Maigatari, Jigawa State, the largest soya oil mill in West Africa in Sagamu, Ogun State and the largest Sesame De-hulling Plant in West Africa in Ogba, Lagos State.
Your Excellencies and distinguished guests, our businesses focus on working closely with and supporting Nigerian Farmers, and most of our Factories are located in rural Nigeria. We are fully aligned with the administration agenda of economic diversification through inclusive growth.
On a final note, we would like to say a big thank you to Your Excellency, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for honoring us once again.
We say a big thank you to the Governor of Edo State, our governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his government for making this partnership between Edo State and WACOT come to fruition for the benefit of all stakeholders. Your Excellencies, this Partnership with Edo State is just the beginning of WACOT’s investment plans for Edo as we examine Billions of Naira worth of investments in Edo in the Food and Agribusiness sectors.
We also thank the Otaru of Auchi, the CEO of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the President of FEPSAN, our financial partners and other dignitaries, who have supported us all through this journey.
Thank you very much.