The PFI has also facilitated an increase in the number of participating blending plants also increased to forty-four from less than seven at inception.
Nigeria has produced 30 million bags of 50 kg fertilizers under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative since 2017, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has said.
The PFI has also facilitated an increase in the number of participating blending plants, which rose to 44 from less than seven at inception, the NSIA said in its 2020 audited financial results published last week.
Amidst the effort to resuscitate Nigeria’s moribund fertilizer blending plants in order to boost local production, food production and as well achieve food security targets, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the commencement of the PFI on December 14, 2017, during his Budget presentation.
That was preceded by the visit of the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, to Nigeria on December 2, 2016, of which several agreements were reached by the two leaders.
One of these agreements concerned a partnership between the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria (FEPSAN) and OCP, a state-owned Moroccan company and a world leader in phosphate production and its derivatives.
By implication, the OCP would supply discounted phosphate to Nigeria, so as to help boost the domestic blending of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) fertiliser in the form of NPK 20:10:10, starting in 2017.
According to the PFI guidelines, the goal is to achieve the local production of one million metric tonnes of blended Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) Fertiliser for the 2017 wet season farming, and an additional 500,000 metric tonnes for dry season farming.
By February 4, 2017, the first shipment of potash arrived in Nigeria from Europe, while the second shipment arrived in early March.
While Nigeria has recorded progress in boosting the production of affordable fertilizer necessary for agriculture activities through the PFI programme under the watch of the NSIA, efforts to increase the supply and reduce the cost of the commodity were in some cases truncated by middlemen.
By implication, a large chunk of farmers across the country lamented that they could not access or purchase the products at the government-approved rates.
While this subsists, checks by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that Nigeria’s fertilizer value chain through the PFI initiative has witnessed significant restructuring, different from what it used to be before.
The NSIA said its involvement in the next phase of the PFI will be reduced, as more of the responsibilities of the sector would be transferred to the approved fertilizer blenders who will be operating based on the enshrined guidelines of the initiative.
“…Completed restructuring of the PFI, the Authority embarks on the next phase of PFI, which substantially reduces NSIA’s involvement and transfers more of the responsibility to the fertilizer blenders,” the NSIA said.
Also, it noted that the NSIA implementation company for the PFI –NAIC-NPK, has been spun off to the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI), hence it is shown from 2020 as a discontinued operation on NSIA’s financial statements.
By this recent development, experts along the fertilizer value chain stated that there’s likely to be a significant hike in the prices of fertilizer this year different from the price it was sold in the previous years under the PFI as the wet season commences.
“Fertilizer would be available this year, but it will be more expensive,” a source familiar with the development who asked not to be named, said.
The year 2020 was the third full year of implementing the PFI with about 6.5 million 50kg bags of NPK 20:10:10 delivered, bringing total delivered products to 20 million 50KG bags of NPK 20:10:10 since the inception of the programme in 2017.