Gift Joseph Okpakorese
Nigeria as a nation has long begun to make alternative plans with regards to revenue generation and optimal utilization of the country’s rich mineral and natural resources putting in mind the current situation of things all over the globe, as a result of the recent coronavirus pandemic which led to series of hardships, deaths and economic recession as well as numerous debts experienced by some prominent countries.
However, as many of the world’s leaders and economies are trying to re-strategize and recover from the hardship caused by the covid-19 pandemic, Nigeria, on her part is not just only trying to recover from the challenges of recession, but are also dealing with the fact that the federation’s major source of revenue is being threatened by the recent discoveries in alternative to the oil and petroleum products which has always been the main products exported by the nation.
Nigeria has already begun thinking smart and fasts with regards to alternative sources of income, as evident in the massive investment in the recent past in the Agro sector of the economy over the years by some of its past and present administration.
In line with the above reasoning, it has recently been revealed to the general public by news correspondents that the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has confirmed that Nigeria is on the path towards becoming a regional and global powerhouse in fertilizer blending.
According to media reports, the President announced on Thursday last week, on the occasion of the virtual briefing on the progress of the presidential fertilizer initiative. The conference was held to evaluate the growth made so far in the country’s fertilizer sector.
Remarking on the progress made so far, Buhari applauded the President of Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association (FEPSAN), Thomas Etuh, indicating that the doggedness and hard work displayed by the organization, especially during the recession and COVID-19 lockdown, has given birth to a constant channel of revenue generation and phenomenal wealth. In his words;
“Nigerians should be proud of the sacrifices and personal commitments you have made towards the milestones we have so far recorded,” Buhari said.
“The recent recession didn’t affect your investments in this sector even when others were taking their investments outside the country. Investments in rural areas tackle unemployment, which is the root cause of the insecurity we have been experiencing in many parts of the country at present.”
The number one citizen of the federation further indicated that his administration will continue to provide ample opportunities, environment, and a home for investment to aid farmers in achieving their desired goals and enrich the nation’s food production.
Furthermore, the President sent a note of acknowledgment to the King of Morocco for partnering with Nigeria and his government in other to stop the shortage of fertilizer in the nation.
Meanwhile, commenting on the role played by President Buhari in all of these achievements Mr. Etuh started that the devotion shown by the President in this unique presidential fertilizer enterprise was second to none and that move was a masterstroke which eventually paid off as it has lifted the country from scarcity to availability.
“Mr. President, you can beat your chest and say that you have delivered the country from scarcity to abundance, not only in fertilizer ram materials but also in blended NPK production,” he said.
“Mr. President, when you invited us for a role in the PFI program, there were only four blending plants in Nigeria operating at less than 40 percent capacity. But today, we are proud to announce the existence of 40 blending plants in the country, all operating at 100 percent capacity.
“Today, we are proud to announce that all the blending plants in Nigeria source 60 percent of their raw material locally.”
The president of FEPSAN remarked that the group was initially, used a joint production capacity of one million metric tonnes of blended NPK fertilizer but with this move, they now have an increase of five hundred thousand metric tonnes in 2021.