Sovereign Wealth Fund resuscitates 11 fertilizer firms, crashes price

Elizabeth Christopher,Abuja

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, 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.

Ime Njoku