Journalism of Courage

FG moves to tackle fertilizer scarcity in Nigeria

...as NSIA takes delivery of 105,000 metric tonnes of potash, ammonium from Russia, Canada next week

Farmers in Nigeria would soon begin to have access to fertilizer as Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA)  announces the delivery of 105,000 metric tonnes of potash, ammonium and other basic raw materials used for fertilizer production next week.

The Managing Director/CEO of NSIA, Mr Uche Orji, who said this on Thursday at a press briefing on the Presidential Fertiliser lnitiative (FPI) in Abuja, disclosed that the first vessel of raw materials will arrive Nigeria from Russia on June 3, 2022, while the second will arrive on June 6, 2022, from Canada.

Persecondnews reports that the Russia-Ukraine war has led to a scarcity of fertiliser as Russia is the world’s leading exporter of Nitrogen fertiliser and second in phosphorus and potassium fertilisers.

Speaking on the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, Orji said he was excited that the federal government chose NSIA to drive the programme, adding that the initiative is aimed at delivering quality fertilizer in good time to Nigerian farmers.

He said: “There was potash difficulty. About 30 per cent of the world’s potash comes from Russia and Belarus. So, when the crisis started there was a blockade, there were sanctions and all kinds of issues, and we couldn’t get potash.

“But now, I’m glad to report that we have solved the potash problem. On June 3rd, the first vessel will arrive from Russia. On June 6th, the second vessel will arrive from Canada.

“The President gave us the instruction to go and solve it, find it wherever you can, bring it into the county. We will have enough potash between now and the middle of June for all our needs for the year.

“Last year, we had enough to produce up to 40 per cent of the country’s need in inventory in the warehouses, so that’s coming out. Central bank is one of the big buyers, and they’re releasing it.”

The NSIA boss further warned against hoarding of fertilisers, as he assured farmers that they have solved the issue of potash scarcity, which according to him was the biggest problem last year.

“Anybody who is hoarding, it’s not fair to do that. Anybody who is hoarding this should be aware that from next week all this potash problem would be solved.

“We have a food crisis, and there are agencies of government who are now involved in ensuring that people release what they have.

“We are going to unleash a whole bunch of supply. At the moment, we’re struggling to clear them at the ports,” Orji said.

“We have two vessels discharging phosphate, and there’s already more in the warehouses.

“So, I sense that as these things get into the market, by the time we get into the peak application season at end of June and July, I’m hoping that this problem will be completely solved.”

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