Financial statements on the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) website indicate that since the inception of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) in 2017, it has committed over N107 billion to fertiliser production, even as it plans to invest N114 billion in the 2020 financial year.
The 2020 investment will be expended on items that cover raw materials, logistics, blending costs by third party blenders, among others.
Daily Trust findings indicate that the programme has revived operations in a total of 31 blending plants thereby increasing domestic production capacity by nearly 300 per cent and improving the quality of fertiliser available to domestic farmers.
The PFI took off in 2017 after the visit of the King of Morocco to Nigeria in December, 2016, and the subsequent signing of a three-year bilateral agreement with Morocco for the supply of Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP); a key ingredient for fertiliser production.
Prior to the agreement, Nigeria’s fertiliser industry was in comatose, with only five blending plants operating below 10 per cent of installed capacity. No one expected a miracle on account of the agreement between Nigeria and Morocco due to the well-documented cases of corruption that had plagued the sector, and which had shortchanged Nigerian farmers for decades.
The mandate of PFI is to make high quality fertiliser available to Nigerian farmers at the right time and at an affordable price, and to revive the ailing fertiliser blending industry so that Nigeria can achieve food security.
A source at NSIA said, “Having been invited to serve as programme operator and fund manager, the NSIA subjected the PFI to its own governance processes which ensured accountability and transparency at all stages of the procurement, production and sales.”
Disclosures on the programme are made on the project in NSIA’s audited financial statements which are published annually on its website following rigorous internal audits and periodic reviews by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
The PFI’s business model, according to insiders, involves sourcing for and procurement of four constituent raw materials required for production of NPK 20:10:10. Of the raw materials sourced, 37 per cent of the inputs are imported, consisting of DAP from Morocco and Muriate of Potash (MoP) from Russia, while the remaining 63 per cent of the raw materials, mostly urea and limestone granules, are sourced locally.
The raw materials are blended locally at accredited blending plants nationwide to produce the fertiliser for delivery at a target price of N5,500 per 50kg bag (N5,000 per bag from April, 2020).