In a bid to end fertilizer importation in the country, the Federal Government has signed a deal with a Russian firm, known as Uralchem.
The deal will require Russia to supply Nigeria potash – a very vital component used in producing fertiliser, thereby cutting down fertiliser imports to the country, according to Punch.
The Details: The deal was signed by Nigeria and Russia at the Presidential Villa in Abuja under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI). Uche Orji, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) signed on behalf of Nigeria while Mr Dmitry Konyeaev, a representative of the Russian firm, signed on behalf of the company.
Abubakar Badaru, Chairman of the PFI and Governor of Jigawa State, applauded the Government for the move, after noting that it would help boost the nation’s metrics in terms of food production.
“It is another milestone in President Buhari’s effort to increase farm production and to support farmers. As you all recall, President Putin of Russia hosted African leaders recently at a summit and our President was there.
“During one of the side meetings, the President proposed the possibility of Nigeria buying Potash from a company in Russia and today, we witnessed a culmination of that discussion, where Nigeria and Russia have signed an agreement on potash purchase by Nigeria,” he said.
Badaru explained that the deal would ensure products are readily available and affordable for small scale farmers. He also promised that the deal would eliminate unscrupulous middlemen who might have been profiteering from jacking up the fertilizer price.
“What we have just witnessed will help in stabilising the price of NPK brand of fertiliser that we produce locally. The beauty of this deal is that it is a direct purchase; no commissioned agent and also because of the involvement of the two Presidents, the price is very competitive,” he added.
What you should know: Not less than 19 million bags of fertiliser have been blended since 2017 in the country when the PFI came into effect. This is according to Orji, NSIA MD.
Orji’s words: “Between 2017 when the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative started and today, over 19 million bags of fertiliser have been blended by this programme at a price of N5, 500 and more importantly, we have revived some of the blending plants that were moribund.”