New $1.3b Fertiliser Plant Will Be Ready In Months, Says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari tries to wear a facemask at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 25, 2021.

 

A new basic chemicals platform worth $1.3b that will produce ammonia and fertilisers in Nigeria will be ready for commissioning in the coming months, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday.

He made the disclosure at an audience with members of the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) in Abuja.

“His Majesty, the King of Morocco and I, have agreed to extend the current phosphate supply agreement between the Kingdom of Morocco and Nigeria.

“We both believe that to consolidate and expand on the successes recorded thus far, we must secure raw material supplies to our blenders,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina.

He added, “Furthermore, to improve the balance of trade between Nigeria and Morocco, the two countries have signed an agreement to develop a $1.3 billion basic chemicals platform in Nigeria that will produce ammonia, phosphoric acid, sulphuric acid, and various Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK), and Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilisers using Nigeria’s gas reserves.”

President Buhari noted that the new plant when completed would complement the existing Dangote and Indorama Chemicals facilities which produce urea, ammonia, and other industrial raw materials.

According to him, Nigeria will become a regional and global fertiliser powerhouse when the projects are combined with the existing 44 blending plants.

On the activities of the FEPSAN, the President was happy with the progress made over the past five years, saying investments in the fertiliser and agricultural inputs sector have continued to grow despite the country going through recessions during the period.

He said, “Though many investors chose to take their monies out of Nigeria, you continued to invest. Today, we are seeing the fruits of your smart, long term and patriotic decisions.

“This is why all Nigerians should be proud of the personal commitments and sacrifices you all made in getting us to where we are today.”

“Another commendable trait worth mentioning is that all your investments have been balanced between urban and rural Nigeria; these are the types of investments needed to address the unemployment and security challenges our nation is facing today,” President Buhari added.

He assured FEPSAN that the Federal Government would continue to ensure a conducive business environment for such investments to flourish.

– Look Beyond The Cities –

On the issue of security, the President was concerned that the lack of employment prospects and opportunities in most rural communities had remained a major contributor to insecurity.

He noted that for decades, previous government policies have focused on urban development at the expense of rural inclusion.

President Buhari, however, explained that his administration has worked hard to bridge some of the economic imbalances in the last four years through its various agricultural and financial policies to attract employment opportunities to rural areas.

“As we continue to expand our security operations to bring an end to these challenges, it is important to note that peace and prosperity can only be sustained if we collectively and actively support investments that take opportunities to our rural citizens.

“I, therefore, urge our governors, bankers, investors, and entrepreneurs to look beyond our cities when it comes to investments.

The President commended the Jigawa State Governor, Muhammad Abubakar, as well as Mr Thomas Etuh and his FEPSAN team, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, security and intelligence agencies, and all government agencies for their collaboration in making the project possible.

In his remarks, FEPSAN President, Thomas Etuh, recounted that in their first meeting with the President five years ago, he gave the association a mission to reduce Nigeria’s reliance on imports, enhance fertiliser availability and affordability and create jobs over a four-year period.

He added that from being an unbankable sector that was on the verge of bankruptcy, the members of the association in the last three months alone have been able to raise bank guarantees and funding of close to N100 billion.

Buhari Orders Reduction In Price Of Fertilizer

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the reduction of the cost of fertilizer from N5,500 to N5,000 naira per bag.

The reduction was announced by the Vice Chairman of the National Food Security Council and the Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu.

He disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing State House reporters in Abuja after the council met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

Bagudu explained that the Federal Government’s decision to reduce the price was to ensure food security in the country.

“You are a living witness to the trend in the country. Before the program, fertilizer was sold for between N8,000 to N12,000 in 2016 and when we started the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, it was brought down to N5,500 that is the NPK and this has been the trend for three years and now the president decided to reduce it by another N500.

“So, you can sell fertilizer at N5000 to the farmers and the factory price at N4,500. This has been going on, but we have a problem with one of our key raw materials, urea that is being supplied by Indorama out of Port Harcourt,” he said.

Presidential Committee Arrests Three Fertiliser Adulterators

In this photo taken on April 15, 2020, Jigawa State Governor and Chairman of the Committee on Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, Badaru Abubakar, announces the Federal Government’s plan to reduce the price of fertiliser at the Government House in Dutse.

 

The Committee on Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) has arrested three suspects who specialise in adulteration of fertiliser and selling such to farmers in the north-west region of the country.

Jigawa State Governor, Badaru Abubakar, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Committee disclosed this on Monday.

He made the disclosure during an inspection visit to some fertiliser blending plants in Kano State.

Governor Abubakar said the suspects who have since been detained in police custody were arrested in Kano, Kaduna, and Zamfara States.

He explained that they were nabbed for selling adulterated fertiliser and packaging them just like that of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative.

A map of Kano state in northern Nigeria.-Kanooooo
A map of Kano State in north-west Nigeria.

 

The PFI chairman decried that the action of the suspects was capable of tarnishing the hard-earned reputation of the Federal Government of providing the Nigerian farmers with qualitative fertiliser.

He, however, stated that his committee would make sure that the quality of fertiliser under PFI watch was not compromised and, in an event, where such happens, the culprits would be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.

Governor Abubakar also faulted the rumours that PFI fertiliser was sold beyond N5,000 per bag – the approved price by the Federal Government.

He, therefore, appealed to farmers in the country to make use of the whistle-blowing number printed on the fertiliser bag and report persons involved in such acts for prosecution.

During the visit to Kano, the PFI chairman inspected the Alu Fertiliser plant in Birninkudu, Kasco Fertiliser blending plant at Bompai, and Nagari Fertiliser blending plant in Madobi town.

He was satisfied with the quality and quantity of fertiliser produced daily at the various plants visited.

Governor Abubakar believes the quantity of fertilizer produced daily is more than enough for farmers in the three states of Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina under the jurisdiction of the plants.

Subsidy: Katsina To Spend N2.7bn On Fertilisers

A file photo of Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari

 

Katsina state government has approved the purchase of 30,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer for sales to farmers at subsidized rates.

The state’s commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Faruk Jobe revealed this to reporters on Wednesday during a press briefing held after the state’s weekly executive council meeting presided over by Governor Aminu Masari at the government house, Katsina.

Jobe, who was in the company of the state commissioner of Information, Culture, and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abdulkareem Sirika said the government will be spending 2.7 billion Naira in the procurement of the fertilizers for the current farming season.

He further revealed that the government will bear the cost of transportation of the commodity to the doorsteps of the farmers.

According to Jobe, each bag of fertilizer will be sold at the cost of N4,000 as a subsidy to the farmers.

Sales will soon commence, he said.

Jobe also announced that 22 civil servants, including medical doctors, from various Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs) have been sponsored to obtain higher qualifications both in Nigeria and abroad.

The Budget and Economic Planning commissioner disclosed that the executive council meeting also sent heartfelt condolences to members of the public that have lost loved ones in various acts of banditry and lawlessness across the state.

He however assured that the government would not relent efforts in continuously searching for ways and means to end heinous crimes in the state.

“Governor Aminu Bello Masari was throughout last week in Abuja where he met Mr. President and various security chiefs towards finding solutions to the acts of criminally in the state,” Jobe said.

COVID-19: FG Subsidises Fertiliser For Farmers As Palliative Measures

Committee on Presidential Fertilizer Initiative and the Jigawa State Governor, Badaru Abubakar, announces Federal Government's plan to reduce the price of fertiliser at the Government House in Dutse on April 15, 2020. 
Committee on Presidential Fertilizer Initiative and the Jigawa State Governor, Badaru Abubakar, announces Federal Government’s plan to reduce the price of fertiliser at the Government House in Dutse on April 15, 2020.

 

The Federal Government says it has subsidised the price of fertilizer from N5,500 to N5,000 as part of palliatives for farmers in the country as the nation battles with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Committee on Presidential Fertilizer Initiative and the Jigawa State Governor, Badaru Abubakar, disclosed this on Wednesday at the Government House in Dutse, the state capital.

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The governor noted that the Federal Government has concluded plans to produce 12 million of 50kg bags of the Fertilizer in order to make it available for the farmers.

“As part of the palliative measures introduced by Mr President to help the Nigerians farmers on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market price for the sale of NPK fertilisers and other end users has been reduced from N5, 500 to N5, 000 per 50 kilo bag,” he said.

According to him, famers will be allowed to go to their farms despite the lockdown in the country.

He however advised farmers, especially those in the rural areas to maintain social distancing and hygiene to prevent further spread of coronavirus.

The governor noted that although the lockdown affects few states in Nigeria, he is however optimistic that farmers will be considered to go on with their activities in due course.

FG To Withdraw Subsidy On Fertiliser – Agriculture Minister

Audu-Ogbeh-FertiliserThe Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, has announced plans by the Federal Government to withdraw subsidy for fertiliser procurement in Nigeria.

The Minister explained on Thursday at a forum in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital that the government’s decision would ensure the availability of fertiliser to farmers.

He said there were plans to ensure that farmers access loans at single digit rates to meet the growing demands for agricultural produce.

The Director of USAID Nigeria, Michael Harvey, and Director of IFDC West and North African Division, Robert Groot, suggested the increased lending to farmers.

They also called on the government to ensure that members of the private sector were involved in the distribution of fertiliser.

The Speakers noted that this would provide income for farmers and ensure food security for all.

Besides all of these suggestions, leaders in the West African region are also expected to back all policies that affects fertiliser production and distribution with action.