Remarks by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the commissioning ceremony of the OCP Africa fertilizer blending plant, located at the Green Agro-allied Industrial Zone, held on Tuesday, 18th October 2022
1. I am pleased to be here today for what I consider to be another milestone in the sustained quest of the Kaduna State Government for development. We welcomed with gratitude OCP’s decision to locate a fertilizer plant in Kaduna. You can therefore imagine our delight that the factory is ready for commissioning today, months after construction of the plant and installation of equipment were completed.
2. Every new factory, every new shop, every new park implies more jobs, bringing incomes that help to feed families and reduce poverty in our state. OCP locating a fertilizer blending plant within Kaduna State also expand the access that our farmers have to fertilizer supplies. It helps to improve the availability of a very essential ingredient for farming.
3. I recall the partnership between the Kaduna State Government and OCP back in 2016 on fertilizer supplies for our farmers. That partnership helped to demonstrate that it was possible to get fertilizer into the hands of farmers without an expensive and inefficient subsidy regime. It was apparent when we took office in 2015 that the interests of our farmers were not the priority of the fertilizer subsidy arrangement.
4. Since the fertilizers for the 2015 farming season had already been bought before we took office, we had to wait till 2016 to take action for a new way forward. We approached OCP and together delivered fertilizer without subsidy at almost the same price as the subsidized fertilizer of the previous year.
5. At the time, OCP had no blending plant in Kaduna, so we brought in Flour Mills to help. The inauguration of the Kaduna blending plant today means that Kaduna State can, going forward, has greater scope for making affordable fertilizer available to our farmers.
6. Kaduna State has comparative advantage in agriculture. We have leveraged this endowment as a priority sector for our investment drive. OCP is joining Olam and Tomato Jos in investing in our agriculture sector. We are grateful to Olam for being the first major company to respond to our investment push. They have had a major impact on our farmers and our state. OCP is a neighbour to Olam. We wish you similar success.
Thanks for listening.