ABUJA, NIGERIA. The Federal Government says five fertiliser blending plants located in Benue, Edo, Zamfara, Plateau and Kano will be ready by the end of August to complement the existing 11 under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI). Mr Thomas Etuh, President, Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) said this in Lagos on Wednesday during a facility tour of ENL terminal and Tak Logistics warehouses at Apapa and Tin Can Ports.
The facilities visited are where raw materials for fertiliser production were been discharged.
Etuh said that work to revamp the five plants located in Benue, Edo, Zamfara, Plateau and Kano had neared completion.
“Five plants will join in fertiliser production by the end of August and this is to ensure that fertiliser gets closer to the domain of agro dealers and farmers.
“Eleven plants located in eight states are already producing fertiliser and by August the number of functional plants will be put at 16.
“The Federal Government targets to have 20 fertiliser plants working by the end of this year (2017),’’ Etuh said.
The FEPSAN president also said that efforts were being made to accelerate the ongoing discharge of fertiliser blending materials (phosphate and potash) at the Lagos ports to ensure plants get delivery for production as soon as possible.
Etuh attributed the delay in the discharge of the materials to constant rainfall in Lagos.
Ankush Arora, Executive Director, Tak Logistics, assured that more machines and workers would be deployed to enable them discharge the materials.
“About six vessels berthed here in Apapa and Tin Can ports respectively and each of the vessels carries about 33,000 tonnes of phosphate and potash.
“The vessels are from Morocco and Spain.
“We are working hard to see that all these vessels are discharged within the next three weeks,’’ Onyebara said.
Kelvin Onyebara, Managing Director, Tak Logistics said security agents have been deployed to the discharging terminals at the ports to ensure a 24-hour service.
Onyebara said that company had resolved to put everything into use for a successful implementation Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) under the Buhari-led administration.
In a related development:
Sovereign Wealth Fund Resuscitates 11 Fertiliser Blending Plants
ABUJA, NIGERIA. The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) also known as the Sovereign Wealth Fund has resuscitated 11 fertiliser blending plants across the country. This development substantially brought down the price of fertiliser, ended its subsidy and ensured the availability of the commodity. The Fund’s Managing Director, Uche Orji said this in Abuja while receiving the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who paid a courtesy visit to the Authority.
More jobs created
“We have delivered over six million bags of NPK 20:10:10 at 30% below the market price without subsidy. In the process of that, we have also created over 50,000 jobs. We have rehabilitated 11 blending plants that had either been under capacity or moribund,” Mr Orji stated.
According to him, six other moribund fertiliser blending plants across Nigeria are at various stages of rehabilitation and will come on board by the end of the year.
Through this intervention, Mr. Orji said the Fund has saved the government over N50 billion in subsidy this year, based on the fact that the government used to subsidise fertiliser to the tune of N6,000 per bag.
The NSIA boss said the fertiliser initiative of the Authority also assisted the government to conserve foreign exchange through the substitution of 65% components of the fertiliser with local content.
“The Fund eliminated fertiliser subsidy and middlemen in the distribution process by putting whistle blower telephone numbers on every bag to guard against arbitrary increase in the price of the commodity,’’ he stated.
Fertilizer blending plant in Nigeria
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed commended the Fund for its intervention in the critical sectors of the economy.
Mohammed said the present administration has succeeded in breaking the jinx in fertiliser supply to farmers.
“You have done three major things here. One is that you have crashed the price of fertiliser and this in itself is very significant because what we have today is that for the cost of one bag of fertiliser, you can get two bags of fertiliser…When you now look at the improvement in the type of fertiliser that you are now making available, it has helped us to increase yield from about two metric tonnes per hectare to seven metric tonnes and I think in some areas up to 11. More remarkable to me is that we have been able to demystify the fertiliser conundrum,” Mr Mohammed explained.
Corruption and scandals
The Minister said the intervention by the Fund has also eliminated corruption and scandals in the procurement of fertiliser.
He said the Fund’s laudable efforts especially in the areas of Agriculture, infrastructure and health were ground-breaking and pledged to partner with the Fund to publicise its activities.