By Nosa Alekhuogie
The management of Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals (IEFCL) has debunked the report that the company and another fertilizer firm are sabotaging the national economy and security through their export of fertilizers at the detriment of farmers in Nigeria.
The Company stated that all its domestic supplies to customers so far are in accordance with the approval of the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Farm Input and Supply Services (FISS) department in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited (IEPL) and its sister companies in Nigeria are not, and have not, and would never be directly or indirectly involved in any activities to undermine or sabotage the economy or security of the nation,” the company declared.
In a press statement issued in Port Harcourt, and signed by the company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Dr Jossy Nkwocha, the management noted that its brand-new world-class fertilizer plant built at a cost of $1.5 billion — one of Nigeria’s largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the downstream sector — started pre-commissioning production only recently at only 75% capacity, and in the past one month has been giving priority to the domestic market.
The statement added: ‘”The plant is still awaiting official inauguration.
“Our brand-new fertilizer plant has capacity for 1.5 metric tons of fertilizers per annum which is designed to serve Nigeria’s entire domestic requirement and the surplus is for export markets.”
“However, our primary focus is to serve the interest of our domestic market and this we have been doing with great sense of responsibility and commitment to the Nigerian economy” the company stated.
“It is also a matter of national pride that the surplus production would be exported to enable the generation of foreign exchange for the Country at this time of huge deficit of foreign exchange; as well as branding Nigeria’s global reputation as producer and exporter of petrochemicals and fertilizers, thereby encouraging more foreign investors to come and invest in Nigeria.”
Nkwocha noted that IEFCL has been loading and distributing an average of between 90 – 100 long trailers of fertilizers, each carrying 600 bags of 50kg each, totaling over 57,000 bags of Indorama Urea fertilizer daily over the past one month for the benefit of Nigerian farmers across the country.
The company added: “Indorama-Nigeria is 100 percent committed to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy and has in the past ten years demonstrated such total commitment and loyalty by providing more than 85% domestic needs of polymers which were hitherto imported into the country at huge foreign exchange cost.”
Indorama said as a responsible corporate organisation, it was constrained to state the facts for the benefit of the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Federal Government of Nigeria, the international partners, other critical Stakeholders and the general public.
It noted that it was greatly embarrassed and distressed that the publications gave misleading impression that the two fertilizer companies were sabotaging national security by distributing fertilizers within the country, which were being used by some undesirable elements to make explosives.
“The publications further mentioned an unnamed organisation involved in commercial explosives and accessories whose activities were sabotaging national security”.
“This mix-up has caused great embarrassment and distress to our company, which over the past ten years has the unblemished reputation of adding great value to the Nigerian economy and society,” it said.
Furthermore, the statement added: ‘’The management of Indorama Fertilizer therefore restated its total commitment to the economy and security of the country, especially in ensuring that farmers across the country have unhindered access to its high quality Urea fertilizers.
It also expressed readiness to collaborate with the office of the NSA and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to ensure that all identified concerns about availability of Indorama fertilizers by farmers and dealers are addressed as quickly as possible.
Indorama said it would continue to work with Federal Government regulators to achieve its vision of building the largest Petrochemicals and fertilizer hub of Africa with a cumulative investment of $4.32 billion by 2020.
The company stated that in the past ten years, Indorama-Nigeria has been a responsible corporate citizen, reputed for its excellent Public Private Partnership (PPP) – sharing its wealth/dividend with shareholders including the Federal Government (through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Bureau of Public Enterprises), Rivers State Government, and host communities and Nigerian employees.
It stated that it has also created over 7,500 jobs, as well as engendered numerous Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programmes that impact very positively on its host and transit communities in Rivers State.