The Presidential Committee on Fertiliser at the weekend said Federal government has placed telephone numbers on each 20 million 50kg bags of fertilizer ready for supply to farmers in Nigeria before the end of June 2017.
Chairman Presidential fertilizer Committe and Governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru, said the whistle- blowers can call to raise alarm if any agro dealer sells the product to farmers more than N5,500.
The Presidential Committee was led by its Chairman and Governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru and Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Abba Kyari, they were later joined by the minister of education, Malam Adamu Adamu and that of state for aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika to inspect fertilizer blending plants in Kaduna.
Speaking shortly after the tour of Fertilizer and Chemicals Company, Abakpa and Federal Superphosphate Fertiliser Company Ltd. Kakuri, the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, warned that the era of diverting fertilizers is gone, as people who engage in such act would be losers, adding that,eleven fertilizer blending companies were producing across the country at a rate that the market will be saturated with the products.
Governor Badaru said” “The project is working very well and the farmers are happy, they are getting fertilizers at a very good price and very available too. Nobody believed we will get to this stage when we started, but you have seen the development so far, how fertilizer has started becoming available everywhere. And we intend to continue because there is no subsidy element, because the business men, the private sector are involved in this, it is well sustainable and it will continue”
“From the plant, the fertilizer is being sold to the agro dealers at the rate of N5,000 per bag, and after deducting transport, they shouldn’t sell more than, N5,500. There are telephone numbers on each bag for whistle blowers to raise alarm if any agro dealer sells the product to them more than N5,500. Such dealer will be prosecuted. This project is going to distribute one million metric tons of fertilizers, which amount to 20 million bags”
“This is a great improvement, because last year, all the fertilizers consumed in Nigeria was 300,000 metric tons. So, this year we are producing 700,000 tons over what was consumed last year.”
The Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), President, Mr. Thomas Etuh,said that the project has in the last six months saved Nigeria N260 billion hitherto spent on subsidy and foreign exchange to import the product.
Commenting on the fertilizer project, Managing Director, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), one of the collaborative agents, Mr. Uche Orji, said, 1.3 million bags of fertilizers have already been sold across the country, while another 1.6 million bags have been released.
According to him: “If you put that in context, in two and half months, we have sold more than 60% of the entire programme of 2016. We have materials on ground to deliver more than 8 million bags. And next week, more materials will come for another four million bags. This programme targets 20 million bags for this year, it has never been done in this country. So, there will be enough fertilizer for everyone. So, anyone hoarding is just wasting his time because more is coming” Orji explained.