Fertilizer importation in Nigeria; let us take a dive! The highlight for me last week which has long gone past, was a circular from CBN TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/006 dated 10th December 2018, notifying the public of the inclusion of all forms of fertilizer to the list of items not valid for foreign exchange.
Importers have been urged to source foreign exchange from autonomous sources other than the interbank foreign exchange market. This is a setback of fertilizer importation in Nigeria.
This comes at a time when some persons claim Nigerian soils do not need fertilizers for productivity. We claim our soils are naturally fertile despite that research and statistics by FAO shows that Nigeria is the 137th highest consumer of fertilizer in the world.
This translates to a shortfall in fertilizer application as required to combat food insecurity. The bottom line is, there are several sides to the CBN circular. The case for fertilizer importation in Nigeria is a no brainer.
Even more worrisome is the fact that the Minister for Agriculture in a recent press interview appeared to be as surprised as public over the information.
He claimed he had only heard about the news after it was published in the media.
In this confusion, what is most important is how the farmers view the new development. Could this affect food production in 2019? Will an increase in demand spur local manufacturers to do more?
Or would the CBN make a u-turn on its decision? Let’s hope we find answers before the end of the holidays.
Going by the latter, it means the recent policy review by CBN is bad news for farmers.
The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan promotes the use of local content and job creation. This current administration must focus on the establishment of more fertilizer manufacturing plants in the different zones of the country.
This could be an opportunity for local manufacturers to improve production. Though some of these local manufacturers in recent times have also complained of how the government has made it near impossible to do business in the country.
The have also alleged that the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative in partnership with Morocco has hijacked their sales.
Fertilizer importation in Nigeria: Types allowed
The following are the only types of fertilizer that are allowed to be imported into Nigeria as provided for in the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Fertilizer Programme:
- Urea – Prilled CO (NH2)2, it contains 45% Nitrogen and can be used to produce Urea Nitrate; a high explosive material used in IED by simply adding Nitric Acid.
- Granular Urea – Same description as Urea.
- NPK 20 -10 -10.
- NPK 15-15-15.
- NPK 12-12-17 +Mgo.
- Single Super Phosphate. (SSP).
- NPK 20-20-20.
- Triple – Super Phosphate.
- Muriate of Potash (MOP).
- Mono Ammonium Phosphate (MAP) containing 11% Nitrogen content.
- Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) containing 18% Nitrogen content.
In 2011, the Nigerian government implemented policies to promote agriculture as a lucrative business, integrating the agricultural value chain in order to make agriculture a key driver of Nigeria’s economic growth.
Fertilizer Importation in Nigeria: Policies
- New fiscal incentives to encourage domestic import substitution
- Removal of restrictions on areas of investment and maximum equity ownership in investment by foreign investors
- No currency exchange controls – free transfer of Capital, Profits and Dividends
- Constitutional guarantees against nationalization/expropriation of investments
- Zero percent (0%) duty on agricultural machinery and equipment imports
- Pioneer Tax holiday for agricultural investments
- Duty Waivers and other industry related incentives e.g., based on use of local raw materials, export orientation
In 2015, the Nigerian government committed to putting Nigeria back on the path of self-sufficiency in food production, particularly in particular through stronger public-private partnerships.
Subsequently, the Chinese government has expressed its intention to invest $15 million agricultural assistance for the establishment of 50 demonstration farms across the country.
The government office responsible for Agriculture development and transformation is currently the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Primarily funded by the Federal Government, the Ministry currently superintends almost fifty parastatals operating as either key departments or agencies across the country. Source
It is only a few days to Christmas and if we could all agree on one thing, it would be; December is indeed the most wonderful time of the year (wide grin).
More importantly, we can view the holidays as a time to review and re-strategize for the New Year. If you didn’t smash all your goals this year, don’t beat yourself up, truth is, not many of us did!
So you’re not alone (well maybe some of us smashed a few goals but not all of them).
Rather than dwell, ask yourself those things you didn’t achieve, and improvise means to get them done when you try again next year.
For me, 2018 was a good year and I’m super-duper excited that the holidays are finally here, though I have lots of assignments to get done before ASUU calls off the strike in January (hopefully).
Make sure you share some love and happiness this season. Have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019.
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