Production of 1m tons of fertilizer by FG will break cartels’ ranks—Gov Badaru
Gov. Muhammadu Badaru of Jigawa on Monday said that the one million metric tons of fertilizer to be produced by the Federal Government under a new arrangement would break the ranks of cartels in the business.
Badaru , the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on fertilizer, said this in Dutse, while reacting to a media report which alleged that he was involved in fertiliser’s scam.
He explained that when the production and distribution commenced, a bag of fertiliser would be sold for between N5,000 and N5,500 to farmers as against N8,000 to N10,000 being sold now.
He said that it was this development the cartels had perceived that prompted them to attempt to smear his name in the media that he was involved in fertiliser’s fraud.
The governor said that the cartel hatched the idea when he went to Morocco with President Muhammadu Buhari.
There, an agreement was reached with the Moroccan Government to subsidise the price of phosphate which was a major material for the production of fertilizer, he said.
According to him, the same arrangement was also made with Notore and Nderama Companies on the urea which they were producing locally as well as limestone to ensure adequate and affordable fertiliser’s supply to farmers.
Badaru said that the Federal Government did not inject any fund into it.
It was financed from the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) took over its o financing, he said.
He disclosed that his committee had selected some competent blending plants to process the raw materials to be sold to off-takers like governors at N5,000 per bag for onward sales to their farmers at same price.
“If I off-take some metric tons of fertiliser to my state, for instance, I will only pay transport.
“You can see that the subsidy being paid by government has been saved and if a farmer has the capacity, he can buy the products directly from any of the designated plants.
“Transportation has been taken care; contracts for limestone have been awarded and everything done openly; which fraud they are talking about.
“If not this way, there is no other way we can deliver fertiliser at affordable prices to our farmers,’’ he said.
The governor said that the cartels and hoarders who went to the media to blackmail him were mischievous, adding that he would not be deterred in ensuring that Nigerian farmers get fertiliser at affordable prices.
Badaru said that the new system of production of fertiliser in the country would also generate 200,000 direct jobs.