President Muhammadu Buhari begins a two-day visit to Morocco on Sunday, and will meet with King Mohammed VI to discuss economic partnerships between the two nations.
The leaders will focus on strengthening existing agreements on the fertilizer industry, as well as education cooperation, the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project and establishing a basic chemical platform to harness Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources and support Morocco’s diammonium phosphate industry, according to the official release from Buhari spokesman Garba Shehu.
The working visit reciprocates the invitation Nigeria extended to the Moroccan king in December 2016, when he signed a collaborative agreement intended to help Nigeria bring back its fertilizer industry, a plan launched as the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative. Since that time, 14 fertilizer blending plants making nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) fertilizers have been revitalized.
Accompanying Buhari on the trip to Rabat are Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Gov. Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State and other senior government officials.
Ebonyi is at the heart of Nigeria’s NPK fertilizer industry, and officials announced last month that a new facility is in the advanced stages of construction near an existing facility built in 2004. The new plant is expected to add 40 metric tons per hour of additional capacity, adding to the 32 metric-ton capacity for fertilizer blends currently produced on the site.
Ebonyi State Fertilizer and Chemical Company is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the PFI, according to general manager Ogbonnaya Chukwu. The Nigerian program, which has boosted inputs available to farmers especially in poorer rural regions, is coordinated through the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) organization in partnership with OCP Morocco.