By Victor Uzoho
The Federal Government says Nigeria’s current status as Africa’s fertiliser powerhouse was made possible through implementation of the right policies by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The government said this achievement has ensured the steady flow of investments into the industry from the private sector, brought prosperity to millions of Nigerians and good returns to the investors.
In a statement yesterday by the presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, the President said this when he received the executive committee of the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), in Abuja.
Buhari, who lauded FEPSAN for partnering with his government in the backward integration project of enhancing the agricultural value chain, said the era of persistent shortage of fertiliser in Nigeria is now a thing of the past.
For Nigeria, a predominantly agrarian nation, having an inclusive economy meant we needed to prioritise the enhancement of our agricultural value chain. We quickly identified the persistent shortage of fertiliser as a key reason for the low yields experienced on our farms.
The statement reads: “When this administration came to office in 2015, our focus was on three key areas; security, economy and tackling corruption. For every nation to have peace and prosperity, its economy must be inclusive.
“For Nigeria, a predominantly agrarian nation, having an inclusive economy meant we needed to prioritise the enhancement of our agricultural value chain. We quickly identified the persistent shortage of fertiliser as a key reason for the low yields experienced on our farms.
“This historical scarcity of fertiliser was due to our over-reliance on imports and the inefficient participation of the government in distributing this essential commodity to the farmers. As a government, it was very clear to us that these practices needed to change. Nigeria is naturally blessed with most of the raw materials needed to produce fertilisers.
“Nigeria has all the skills and manpower required to convert these raw materials to fertilisers. With the right enabling environment, Nigeria has entrepreneurs who are ready to invest in the sector. So we went to work. And as the Chairman of FEPSAN mentioned in his remarks, the rest is now history.”
Commenting, FEPSAN President, Thomas Etuh, thanked Buhari for inaugurating two facilities by members of the association — the Barbados blending plant in Kaduna, and the Dangote Urea plant in Lagos, within two months.
“Mr President, before you created the PFI Initiative in 2016, Nigeria’s fertiliser production base was almost zero. We had less than seven companies producing at 10% of their installed capacity. Nigeria’s urea output was reported at less than 300,000 tons,” he said.