The Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria-FEPSAN has attributed adulteration and profiteering of fertilizer as a major problem begin facing in production of fertilizer in Nigeria
In his speech at the ceremony to issue certificate to FEPSAN Registered Fertilizers Distributions under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative-PFI Program held in Kaduna Friday, the National President of FEPSAN, Mr. Thomas Etuh assured that the Association is working with Nigerian Police to combat the treat.
Represented by Mr. Valetine Nwandu, Mr. Thomas Etuh also informed that other challenges faced in the production of fertilizer include the supply chain infrastructure due to the dilapidated roads from state to another.
According to him, because of the bad road, it takes full load of trucks of fertilizer 4-5 days to come from Lagos to Kaduna, saying the longer it take, the longer it will take to evacuate the product as the truck drivers experience serious breakdowns.
Mr. Etuh continue to mentioned that another thing they discover when the program started is lack of strategic storage facilities for the fertilizers and the raw materials because most of the blending plant are not designed to store finish goods.
The National President added that the Association also found out that as the fertilizer season is compressed for three months between May, June, and July, they cannot product anything because they need storage to store the raw materials and the finished goods but that they are going to resolved them in short period of time.
“Adulteration and profiteering is the major problem we have been facing and we are working with Nigerian Police to try and combat the treat.
“Supply chain infrastructure as our road are bad, it will take 4-5 days for the truck to come from Lagos to Kaduna and the longer it take, it means, it will take longer to evacuate the product as they experience serious breakdowns because of bad road.
“One thing we discover when we started this program is that we do not have enough strategic storage facilities and most of the plant are not designed to store finish goods and have very little storage for raw materials which means you are supposed to bring the products in time.
“We also found out that in Nigeria, the fertilizer season is compressed like 3 months between May, June, and July so we cannot product anything after that 3 months so we need storage to store the raw materials and the finished goods but we are going to resolved them as we go along” he said: Mr.Etuh lamented.
He noted that until now the federal government has completed six million bags of fertilizer, produced and sold six million bags, saying they would have achieved ten million bags but some raw materials imported for the last 6 weeks are still at the port.
“Until now the federal government has completed 6 million bags, produced and sold 6 million bags of APK fertilizer. We would have achieved 10 million bags but now, we have some raw materials imported for the last 6 weeks by the time it gets to the plant by the end of September, we would have completed 10 million bags of APK fertilizer and before the end of the year, we promised to complete 20 million bags.
“11 plants are currently operating at their full capacity; some are working 7 days a week. Now, many of the machines have not worked before and those that are working are working at 10% the capacity but all the blending plants, 11 of them are producing 6 million bags of fertilizer between February and till date.
“4 additional blending plants are joining the program this month, up to date we have mud 20,000 tractories in moving raw materials from Lagos and Port-Harcourt to different blending fertilizer plants that is 30 trailers already and before the programme is over it will be 60,000 trailers and this is also creating jobs in transportation.
“The program has created more than 50,000 direct jobs and some estimate that it has created 250,000 in indirect jobs if you count another associated jobs from the program. This is what we have achieved in a very short time between January 2017 and today.
Mr. Etuh however said eleven blending plants are currently operating at their full capacity which some of them are working seven days a week and have produced six million bags of fertilizer between February till date.
According to him, the program has created more than 50,000 direct jobs and 250,000 in indirect jobs, adding that the way forwards is when Agro dealers will be the major off takers of the program without government involvement but totally private sector driven.
The National President also said they will ensure the blending plants of fertilizer are spread across the country so that it will be easy for the agro dealers which will reduce cost of transportation while maintaining uninformative price.
“One of the way forwards is a time when Agro dealers like yourselves will be the major off takers of this program and there will be no government involve, It will totally be private sector driven and the network of Agro dealers will spread across the country.
“We also looking forward the time when blending plants will spread across the country so that it will be easy for the agro dealers as it will be closer to their location and the cost of transportation will be low cost and we will maintain uninformative price of fertilizer.
“Another thing is a time when we will be producing fertilizer that is crop specific and soil specific, if you are growing maize, you will know that this is the type of fertilizer you will need. So we will have fertilizer for beans, rice, maize, cassava among others. We want this program to be 100% prevent sector driven so that it does not matter which government comes into power” he ended.