**To Transform Togo’s Phosphate into Fertiliser
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote, has concluded plans to sink about $60 million in West Africa’s Togo for the construction of a cement manufacturing plant with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tonnes.
The factory, Business Post gathered, would be situated in Lomé, the capital of the tiny nation. This plant will use clinker from Togo and Nigeria and will meet both local and neighbouring countries’ demand.
Construction is billed to commence in the first quarter of 2020 and its commissioning scheduled to take place before the end of 2020, with about 500 direct jobs expected to created.
Apart from this, Dangote has received the backing of the Togolese government to develop and transform the country’s phosphate into phosphate fertilizers for the West African sub-region; in a bid to improve consumption of the product in Africa.
With over two billion tonnes of phosphate reserves, Togo is one of the leading phosphate producers in Africa. By partnering the Dangote Group, the country intends to benefit from the expertise and investment capacity of Africa’s largest industrial group, according to a joint release issued by the Dangote Group and the Communications Department of the Presidency of the Republic of Togo.
With the completion and commissioning of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Fertilizer complex in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Dangote Group will be the largest ammonia producer on the African continent, the release noted.
Ammonia is an essential ingredient in the transformation of phosphate into fertilizer derived from phosphates. Under the agreement, Togo will provide access to phosphate resources and the Dangote Group will provide access to ammonia and to the Nigerian market.
The project, in line with second pillar of the Togo National Development Plan, should enable the production of more than 1 million tonnes of fertilizers derived from phosphates once completed. The cost of the investment is estimated at about $2 billion and is expected to create several thousand direct jobs. Mining development work will start before the end of 2019.
Commenting on the deal, Togolese President, Mr Faure Gnassingbé, said, “The structural transformation of our economy is the main objective we have set ourselves in the context of the 2018-2022 NDP.
“By processing our phosphate, we will not only create jobs but we will also be able to provide our farmers with good quality fertilizers at an affordable cost.
“Having an industrial investor like Alhaji Dangoté shows that our efforts to improve the business climate are paying off. We intend to continue in this dynamic for the well-being of Togolese men and women.”
President/CEO of Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote, said, “This partnership is in line with our transformation agenda in creating prosperity and enhancing economic development not only in Togo but also in Africa.”
“In addition, the Dangote Group is determined in supporting the Government of Togo in its industrialisation strategy aimed at creating jobs for its citizens and making Togo an attractive investment destination,” he added.
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