Nigeria, Russia sign fertiliser production agreement
The Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday entered into an agreement with a Russian firm, Uralchem, on fertiliser production in Nigeria.
The signing was done under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative.
It will see Russia supplying Nigeria potash, a key ingredient for the production of fertiliser, to cut down the wholesale importation of fertiliser into the country.
The signing ceremony took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where the Managing Director of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Mr Uche Orji, signed on behalf of the Nigerian government.
A representative of Uralchem, Mr Dmitry Konyeaev, signed on behalf of the company.
The Chairman of the PFI and Governor of Jigawa State, Mr, Abubakar Badaru, said the agreement was a milestone in the government’s efforts to improve food production.
He explained, “It is another milestone in President Buhari’s effort to increase farm production and to support farmers. As you all recall, President Putin of Russia hosted African leaders recently at a summit and our President was there.
“During one of the side meetings, the President proposed the possibility of Nigeria buying Potash from a company in Russia and today, we witnessed a culmination of that discussion, where Nigeria and Russia have signed an agreement on potash purchase by Nigeria.”
He added that by the agreement, middlemen in fertiliser distribution would be reduced, while products would be made available to farmers at cheaper rates.
“What we have just witnessed will help in stabilising the price of NPK brand of fertiliser that we produce locally. The beauty of this deal is that it is a direct purchase; no commissioned agent and also because of the involvement of the two Presidents, the price is very competitive,” Badaru stated.
On his part, the NSIA MD, Orji, disclosed that over 19 million bags of fertiliser had been blended since 2017 in the country when the PFI came into effect.
Orji said, “Between 2017 when the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative started and today, over 19 million bags of fertiliser have been blended by this programme at a price of N5, 500 and more importantly, we have revived some of the blending plants that were moribund.
“Today, as we approach the programme for 2020, 26 local blending plants, which include some of the old and new ones, have joined the programme.”