(Ecofin Agency) - Nigeria will save about $200 million in foreign exchange through the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative just launched by the Federal Government, according to the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN).
Speaking while monitoring the fertilizer project in Kaduna State, Thomas Etuh, the president of FEPSAN, said the initiative is aimed at increasing production to 1 million metric tons of NPK fertilizer for the 2017 wet season farming and 500, 000 Metric tons for 2017 dry season farming.
Etuh explained that as at December 2016, the country had five fertilizer blending plants running at a 10% capacity but the plants had currently been increased to 32.
“We are monitoring some of the plants of the presidential fertilizer initiative. We only import 37 percent of the inputs we don’t have in Nigeria which is urea and limestone to get fertilizer to the farmers. This is a PPP arrangement; there is no subsidy at all. We will save government in six months about N60 billion and about $200 million in forex. Thousands of jobs have been created within two months and more jobs will be created,” he said.
Let’s recall that this initiative was approved in December 2016, by President Muhammadu Buhari with the aim of reducing the dependency on imported fertilizers, amongst others.
The initiative is being implemented by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) via a special purpose vehicle that would distribute the 1 million tonnes of fertilizer in 5 batches (200,000 metric tonnes each). The first batch is expected to be completed by the end of March.