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The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has said that the careful and committed implementation of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) by the Federal Government in partnership with the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) has totally eliminated the conduits in fertiliser subsidy programmes.
Chief Executive Officer of NSIA, Mr. Uche Orji, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, also noted that the PFI has significantly improved the quality of fertiliser available for Nigerian farmers.
This development, he said, has also helped to increase the income of agro businesses.He said: “This is a single biggest investment the NSIA has ever made, but I am glad to report that it has been successful. In one singular action, the fraud in the fertiliser distribution programme of the government has been eliminated from the system.
“There is no subsidy in the current programme. In the past, the subsidy was a conduit where someone would sweep all the money and pretended to have imported fertiliser when there was really nothing but this PFI programme has changed it all.”
Orji stated that through the PFI scheme, fertiliser has become available and affordable, saying that with increased capacity utilisation and opening of new blending plants in different parts of the country, the Federal Government was sure of achieving its food security target, thereby saving billions of naira that would have gone into importation and its associated leakages.
“Fertiliser was available at less than 50 per cent of the price a year before. It was N11,000 a bag and we were selling to the end market N5,000. So, we have already cut the price for almost 50 per cent. Secondly, we have sold the highest quantity of fertiliser ever distributed through a government programme. The year before was less than two hundred thousand tonnes sold but we did five hundred thousand metric tonnes for 2017. There is abundance and it is cheap,” the NSIA boss stated.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment towards ensuring the development of the agricultural sector as a critical plant for employment generation and food security, and expressed the hope that with the quick successes recorded in the PFI programme, a new vista for successful public-private partnership for national development may have been dawned in the country.