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Buhari says Nigeria will soon become Africans Fertilizer powerhouse.

With the activation of more than over seventy blending plants, Nigeria would soon become Africa’s fertilizer powerhouse, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured.

The President spoke yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during an audience with the Executive Committee of Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN).

He disclosed that Nigeria’s rising prominence in the comity of fertilizer producing nations has been as a result of the implementation of the right policies by the present administration.

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In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President noted that Nigeria has become a major global player in the production of Urea, going by the country’s massive production facility.

The statement reads,

“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.”

Expressing delight that the era of persistent shortage of fertiliser had become a thing of the past, the president commended FEPSAN for partnering with the government in the backward integration project of the agricultural value chain.

Going down the memory lane, the President recalled what his administration did to overcome fertilizer shortage.

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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.

In his remarks, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, 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.

Emefiele listed the real sector support facility, commercial agriculture credit scheme, national food security programme and the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI).

He said a total of over N114.09 billion has been disbursed to support the fertiliser industry in the last five years.

Emefiele explained that the interventions were long-term loans at concessionary interest rates to support domestic blending and distribution across the country.

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Given the massive funding support received by FEPSAN members from the CBN, Emefiele announced that the bank is working with majors in the industry, such as Dangote and Indorama, to ensure that they sell Urea at discounted prices to the blending plants to ensure that the prices of fertilizer are moderated in the market.

He said: “The bank will equally work with the blending plants to ensure that the blended fertilisers are made available to end-user farmers at affordable prices.”

On the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, the CBN governor said the bank has disbursed N941.26 billion to 4.2 million smallholder famers cultivating 21 agricultural commodities on 5.4 million hectares of land across the country.

He added that for the 2021 wet season programme, the CBN disbursed N193.59bn to 923,699 farmers cultivating seven commodities on 1.16 million hectares of land.

FEPSAN President Thomas Etuh thanked the President for inaugurating two facilities by members of the association – Barbedos blending plant in Kaduna and the Dangote Urea plant in Lagos- within two months.

“Mr President, FEPSAN’s success is not only evident by the number of factories we commission, but also by the many pyramids of rice, maize and other crops you have been inspecting across the country.”

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Written by Adesoji OMOSEBI

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