Federal Government is unequivocally committed to the success of the private sector, acting President Yemi Osinbajo said on Thursday, while inaugurating the $1.5 billion Indorama Urea plant in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
This, he said, is why the government has recently been focusing on significantly improving the business environment for businesses, small and large in the country.
“It is impossible for government to ever be able to provide all the capital needed to invest in infrastructure, or to catalyse economic activity. The best that we can do, and what we should be putting all our energy into, as government, is acting as a catalyst, an enabler, supporting private capital to achieve maximum impact in an economy that so desperately needs all the investment it can get,’’ he said.
Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari established a Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). The acting President had also signed three Executive Orders on the Ease of Doing Business in the country.
The kind of economic growth and prosperity the country is aiming to get cannot happen without private capital, and that private capital cannot be unlocked without reforming the business environment by removing obstacles and roadblocks to investment and to business operations, Osinbajo said.
Indorama’s accomplishment was in line with President Buhari’s vision for a country that produces what it consumes and grows what it eats, he said.
The acting President spoke at the formal release ceremony to discharge Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited (IEPL) from the mandatory Monitoring Programme of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), and the second was the commissioning of the Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Petrochemicals Plant, in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Recall that in 2006, 75 percent of Eleme Petrochemical Limited’s equity was sold to Indorama Consortium, the present core investor of the company, for $225 million, while 10 percent was sold to the NNPC Pension Fund for $30 million.
Following this, the company was handed over to its new owners on October 26, 2006. In 2009, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) graciously approved the sale of 7.5 percent and 2.5 percent of the remaining government’s 15 percent reserved equity in the company to the community and staff of the company respectively, leaving a balance of 5% with the BPE on-behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).
Following the 2006 handover, the BPE carried out routine monitoring on the enterprise to ensure that the core investor adhered to and implemented the post-acquisition plan it had laid out for the company.
Presenting the certificate of discharge to Indorama, Osinbajo harped on the need for them to continue to cooperate and collaborate with the BPE. “Indorama’s graduation from this Monitoring Programme shouldn’t be an excuse to depart from best practice, or from the operational discipline that comes with oversight,” he said.
Earlier in his address, the chairman of Indorama Corporation, Sri Prakash Lohia, said the plant, which has capacity to produce 1.5 million metric tons of fertilizer per annum is the largest single-train Urea plant in the world.
The plant has a production capacity of 4000 metric tons (MT) of nitrogenous fertilizer per day or 1.5MT per annum.
The plant will this year alone supply about 360,000 MT of Urea to Fertilizer blenders, who will in turn produce NPK fertilizer for the benefit of farmers across the country The fertilizer plant is supported by a Port Terminal at the nearby Onne Port Complex, and a Gas Pipeline of 83.5KM for gas supply.
The plant will bring about a green revolution in the agriculture sector not only in Nigeria but also in other parts of Africa and beyond, in line with the economic diversification of the Buhari administration.
Source: Business Day