Nigeria's Dangote Group, Togo announced a partnership to transform phosphate into fertiliser. Here, workers walk past a pile of limestone at the Dangote cement mine in Obajana village in Nigeria's central state of Kogi. Photo: Reuters

CAPE TOWN – Nigerian based Dangote Industries and the government of Togo announced on Friday they have concluded an agreement to develop and transform Togolese phosphate into phosphate fertilisers 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 with 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 Togolese presidency. 

With the completion and commissioning of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Fertiliser complex in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, the group says it will be the largest ammonia producer on the African continent. 

Ammonia is an essential ingredient in the transformation of phosphate into fertiliser 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 should enable the production of more than one million tonnes of fertilisers derived from phosphates once completed. The cost of the investment is estimated at about US$2 billion and is expected to create several thousand direct jobs. Mining development work will start before the end of 2019., it added.

Dangote Group also announced the establishment of a cement manufacturing plant with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tonnes in Lomé. This plant will use clinker from Togo and Nigeria and will meet both local and neighbouring countries' demand, the statement said.

It further added that construction of the Lome plant is billed to start in first quarter of 2020 and its commissioning scheduled to take place before the end of 2020. The investment is estimated at US$60 million and is expected to create 500 direct jobs.

Togolese President 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 fertilisers at an affordable cost. 

"The two investment agreements reinforce Togo's industrialisation strategy adopted under the 2018-2022 National Development Plan."

African News Agency (ANA)