By Egufe Yafugborhi
MINISTER of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has expressed shock at the transformation Indorama-Nigeria, formerly Eleme Petrochemicals, has recorded within a short transition from a failed public corporation to a private enterprise.
Sylva, during a facility tour, yesterday, of the company’s petrochemicals and fertilizer plants in Eleme, Rivers State, noted that the once ailing firm now symbolises how best to effectively utilise the nation’s vast gas resources for economic growth.
He said, “What I have seen here is heartwarming for this country. I have had a lesson in value addition. I was here by 2005 in the old Eleme Petrochemicals Company and I saw an ailing plant at that time.
“What I have seen here today is very marvelous. A lot has happened here. They have added a lot of trains, added fertilizer Urea plant, and other facilities. They have invested over $3 billion and plan to invest over $6 billion in the Nigerian economy.
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Sylva said Indorama’s $3 billion investment already has significantly created jobs, generated revenue to the government, and enhanced supply of petrochemicals and fertilizers.
The firm, he further disclosed, is already partnering government in the supply of Urea fertilizer under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, a development helping in no small measure to enhance the rice production sector.
The minister said, “In just a few years, Nigeria has become self-sufficient in rice and that is also because of the huge support we get from Indorama. We are very happy with them and hope this can be replicated everywhere around the country.
“I have always said gas is the way to diversify our economy and I have seen it practically today because the polymers (petrochemicals) produced here is a raw material for other industries, the fertilizer here is a raw material for the agriculture sector.
The Managing Director, Indorama-Nigeria, Manish Mundra, assured the Minister that the firm was focused on its vision of building Africa’s largest petrochemicals and fertilizer hub in Nigeria.