The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva says Indorama-Nigeria presents a very good example of how the abundant gas resources in the country could be effectively utilized to impact the economy positively while driving diversification.
The minister, who took a tour of Indorama Petrochemicals and Fertilizer plants in Eleme, Rivers State, last Thursday, said it was heart-warming for Nigeria to have Indorama utilizing gas in a true sense of value-addition.
Sylva, who spoke to journalists after the visit, said the purpose of his visit was to see how the company was utilizing gas to create value in different sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“What I have seen here is heart-warming 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 the plant, an ailing plant at that time.
“But what I have seen here today is very marvellous, a lot has happened here, they have added a lot of trains, and added fertilizer Urea plant and other facilities”.
The minister said the Federal Government was also very happy to see that Indorama-Nigeria was working effectively and relating peacefully with its host communities.
Answering further questions from journalists, Sylva said: “I must say that this is a very welcome value addition to our economy, they are doing very well. They have invested over $3billion, and plan to invest over $6billion in the Nigerian economy.
The minister said that Indorama’s over $3billion investment has really helped Nigeria through creation of job opportunities, revenue to government, as well as supply of petrochemicals and fertilizers.
Sylva said that Indorama was already partnering with the Nigerian government in supplying Urea fertilizers to the government (Presidential Fertilizer Initiative), adding that that has really helped in no small way in developing the rice production sector.
“You can see that in just few years, Nigeria has become self-sufficient in rice, and that is also because of the huge support we get from Indorama”, he noted.
“They have also created a lot of jobs and value here. We are very happy with them, and we hope that this can be replicated everywhere around the country.
“I have always said that gas is the way to diversify our economy, and I have seen it practically today because the polymers (petrochemicals) they produce here are raw materials for other industries; and the fertilizer they produce is raw material for the agricultural sector.
“You can see that effective gas utilization is at the foundation of expanding our economy, and we hope that this can be replicated in other parts of Nigeria”, he added.
The minister said he had also noted the challenges facing the company, and promised that government would look into them.
Sylva and his entourage were received at the Indorama Petrochemicals Complex by top officials of the company led by the Managing Director, Mr. Manish Mundra.
Speaking, the Managing Director, Indorama Petrochemicals and Fertilizer Company Limited, Mr Manish Mundra, assured the minister that Indorama-Nigeria was focused on its vision of building the largest petrochemicals and fertilizer hub of Africa in Nigeria.