A Presidential media aide, Laolu Akande, says Nigeria will be saving over 200 million dollars and ₦60 billion in budgetary provisions for Fertiliser subsidy, following the inauguration of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative.
Akande, who is the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice-President), confirmed this development in a statement he issued in Abuja on Monday.
He said the initiative was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2016.
According to him, it is aimed at achieving the local production of one million metric tonnes of blended Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) Fertiliser for the 2017 wet season farming.
He revealed that fertilizer initiative had started yielding results, with the production of more than 4,000 metric tonnes of locally-blended fertilizer in the first week of its operation.
According to him, the objective of the Initiative is to procure the 4 constituent raw materials for massive production of NPK fertiliser in the country.
He said this would be achieved through locally-sourced Urea; locally-sourced Limestone granules (LSG), Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) imported from Morocco and Muriate of Potash (MOP) sourced from Europe and blended locally to produce NPK Fertilizer.
The presidentaial aide said that the blended fertiliser would be at a much reduced cost.
Akande maintained that the finished products would be delivered to Nigeria’s farmers at a starting price of about ₦5,500 per bag, compared to the ₦8,000 – ₦9,000 cost of imported fertilizer.
The presidential aide expressed optimism that the Fertilizer Initiative would also stimulate local production of NPK fertilizer by resuscitating moribund fertilizer plants, and reviving the local blending fertilizer industry.
He said the initiative would also make fertilizer available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and in time for the 2017 wet season farming to enhance food security.
According to him, the initiative will reduce food-induced inflation and stimulate economic activities across the agriculture value chain and also create thousands of direct and indirect jobs across the country.
“Production of the first batch is expected to be completed by the end of March.
“Beyond the broader goal of ensuring food security for the country by providing high-grade fertilizer to enhance harvest in
the 2017 farming season, the Buhari administration is by this initiative reinforcing its commitment to reviving.
‘’It is also diversifying the economy, and creating growth, through a focus on agriculture.’’
The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative is being executed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), through a Special Purpose Vehicle that will roll out the one million tonnes of NPK Fertilizer in 5 batches of 200,000 metric tonnes each.(NAN)