John Shiklam in Kaduna
Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fertiliser and Governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru have disclosed that one million metric tons of fertilizer would be made available to farmers from 11 fertilizer blending plants in the country this farming season.
Speaking with journalists over the weekend, shortly after the committee inspected the three fertilizer blending plants in Kaduna, Badaru said the 11 plants will produced 20 million of 50kg bags of fertilizer to be sold to farmers during the farming before the end of June.
According to Badaru, with the production from the plants, â€Žthe era of hoarding fertilizer is gone, as the 11 fertilizer blending companies are producing across the country at a rate that the market will be saturated with the products.
“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 as the private sector is involved in this, it is well sustainable and it will continue” he said.
The governor explained that from the plant,” fertilizer is being sold to the agro dealers at the rate of N5,000 per bag, and after deducting transport, it shouldn’t sell for more than, N5,500. ”
He also disclosed that telephone numbers were printed on each bag for whistle blowers to raise the alarm if any agro dealer sells the product for 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” he warned.
Speaking 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.
“We have materials on ground to deliver more than eight 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 comingâ€, he stressed.
Other members of the committee that toured the plants were the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Abba Kyari, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika.