The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority said it has saved over $350 million from the erstwhile payments on subsidy and import substitution through the implementation of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.
The agency said the initiative, which is in its fourth year, has delivered on key outcomes including over 30 million bags of 50kg NPK 20:10:10 equivalent spanning project period and price reduction on fertilizer from over N10, 000 to under N5, 500.
The agency said food security has been achieved by facilitating increase in domestic food production through the provision of affordable, high quality fertilizer.
It also disclosed that 41 blending plants have been resuscitated from an initial number of four plants at project inception, adding that an estimated 250,000 jobs (direct and indirect) across the agriculture value chain, including logistics, ports, bagging, rail, industrial warehousing, and haulage touch points amongst others have been created.
Recall that following notable successes and transformative impact of the PFI over the past four years, the presidency approved its restructuring, starting in the 2021 cycle with various modifications.
The Chairman, Implementing Committee of the PFI and Executive Governor of Jigawa State, Governor Mohammed Abubakar Badaru said, the programme has in many ways served to augment the Administration’s policy-driven programmes to diversify the Nigerian economy.
He said as part of the new structure and in line with the Presidential directive, the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning and the Central Bank of Nigeria are expected to engage commercial banks to facilitate lines of concessionary credits to blending plants for the purchase of raw materials.
He said the new approach would further reduce food price inflation in the market, as the availability of fertilizer will drive down the price or cost of food product.
He added that it is also expected to reduce the high rate of unemployment, as more people will become engaged in the production process.
“Clearly, the programme is a strong value proposition for the nation in the agriculture space given the variety of socio-economic benefits it presents. We are grateful to Mr. President for creating this programme and look forwards to supporting the next phase as it evolves.”
Speaking on the development, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NSIA, said with the support of the President, the programme has accomplished its principal objectives.
He said having fulfilled the establishment, stabilization, and market discipline phase of PFI, the PFI will gradually evolve into the next phase, which is a tactical withdrawal of intervention in the industry and the emergence of a self-sufficient, sustainable, and efficiently operated market.
Chairman, the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Thomas Etuh, said that the restructuring is a welcome development, adding that he new approach will afford operators the opportunity to build recognisable and trusted brand while ramping up distribution nationwide.