Sovereign Wealth Fund Resuscitates 11 Fertilizer Blending Firms, Crashes Fertilizer Price

The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), also known as the
Sovereign Wealth Fund, has resuscitated 11 fertilizer blending plants
across the country, which substantially brought down the price of
fertilizer, ended fertilizer subsidy and ensured the availability of
the commodity.

The Fund’s Managing Director Uche Orji disclosed this in Abuja on
Monday, while receiving the Minister of Information and Culture,
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who paid a courtesy visit to the Authority.

“We have delivered over 6 million bags of NPK 20:10:10 at 30% below
the market price without subsidy. In the process of that, we have also
created over 50,000 jobs. We have rehabilitated 11 blending plants
that had either been under capacity or moribund,” he said.

He said six other moribund fertilizer blending plants across the
country are at various stages of rehabilitation and will come on board
by the end of the year.

Mr. Orji said through this intervention, the Fund has saved the
government over N50 billion in subsidy this year, based on the fact
that the government used to subsidize fertilizer to the tune of N6,000
per bag.

The NSIA boss said the fertilizer initiative of the Authority also
assisted the government to conserve foreign exchange through the
substitution of 65% components of the fertilizer with local content.

According to him, the Fund eliminated fertilizer subsidy and middlemen
in the distribution process by putting whistle blower telephone
numbers on every bag to guard against arbitrary increase in the price
of the commodity.

While commending the Fund for its intervention in the critical sectors
of the economy, the Minister said the present administration has
succeeded in breaking the jinx in fertilizer supply to farmers.

“You have done three major things here. One is that you have crashed
the price of fertilizer and this in itself is very significant because
what we have today is that for the cost of one bag of fertilizer, you
can get two bags of fertilizer.

“When you now look at the improvement in the type of fertilizer that
you are now making available, it has helped us to increase yield from
about 2 metric tonnes per hectare to 7 metric tonnes and I think in
some areas up to 11. More remarkable to me is that we have been able
to demystify the fertilizer conundrum,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said the intervention by the Fund has also eliminated
corruption and scandals in the procurement of fertilizer.

The Minister observed that the interventions and the laudable efforts
that the Fund is making, especially in the area of Agriculture,
infrastructure and health, are ground-breaking and pledged to
partner with the Fund in order to publicize its activities.

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