President Muhammadu Buhari has attributed Nigeria’s rising prominence as Africa’s fertiliser powerhouse to the implementation of the right policies by the present administration.
Nigeria’s President made this known on Tuesday during a meeting with the Executive Committee of the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN).
“With our over seventy blending plants operating, Nigeria is on its way to becoming Africa’s fertiliser powerhouse. And with our mega Urea production facilities, Nigeria is definitely a global player in the Urea space,” the President.
President Buhari said that the remarkable achievement, in a very short period of time, has ensured a steady flow of investments to the sector from the private sector; bringing prosperity to millions of Nigerians and good returns to the investors.
President Buhari is pleased that the era of a persistent shortage of fertilizers in Nigeria is now a thing of the past while commending FEPSAN for partnering with the Government in the very patriotic backward integration project of enhancing the agricultural value chain.
He also used the occasion to recount steps taken by his administration to limit overreliance on imports, ensure the availability of the commodity and achieve self-sufficiency in food production in the country.
“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 fertilizer as a key reason for the low yields experienced in 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,” he said.
The President noted that a key indicator of the present government’s successful policies is the fact that the country had no shortages of fertilizers during the global COVID lockdowns.
“Today, I am pleased to hear your assurances that we will not have any shortages in Nigeria because of the Eastern European conflicts that have impacted the global fertilizer trade. All these trends indicate our backward integration policy was the right policy.”
Appreciating those who have invested and continue to invest in the sector, the President said: “Through these investments, you are double blessed as you are making profits and bringing prosperity to millions of Nigerians working in the agricultural value chain.”
Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said fertiliser remains a key input to achieving food security and in realisation of this, the apex bank has continued to place great importance on its availability and accessibility by farmers to improve yield, productivity and ultimately, output.
Highlighting some CBN’s interventions, including the Real Sector Support Facility, Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, National Food Security Programme and the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI), Emefiele said a total of over ₦114.09 billion has been disbursed to support the fertiliser industry in the last five years.
He explained that the interventions were long-term loans at concessionary interest rates to support domestic blending and distribution across the country.