105,000 tonnes of raw materials for fertiliser arrive Nigeria June 3 – NSIA

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From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on Thursday disclosed that the country will take delivery of 105, 000 metric tonnes of basic raw materials for fertiliser production from Russia and Canada next week.

It explained that the federal government has secured letters of Credit for three vessels of basic raw materials that will arrive on June 3.

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Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NSIA, Uche Orji, made the disclosure while speaking at the weekly Media briefing organized by the Presidential Media team in Abuja.

The NSIA boss, who stated that fertiliser was exempted from items sanctioned by the European Union against Russia, noted that expected items include Potash and Ammonium that are being imported from Russia and Canada.

Recall that the war in Ukraine has led to a scarcity of fertilisers owing to slow supply from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

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Russia is the world’s number one exporter of nitrogen fertiliser and second in phosphorus and potassium fertilisers.

Orji disclosed that “letters of Credit have been established for four vessels of phosphate”.

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According to him, “two vessels are currently being discharged, the third vessel is currently on the queue at the Onne port for discharge and the fourth vessel has been nominated”

Orji who also disclosed that two vessels of Ammonium Sulphate totalling 95,000 metric tonnes have been established based on demands from members of PEPSAN, added that “a vessel is currently discharging at the Intels port while the other is inbounded with ETA of May 2022”.

“In 2022, I know one question many of you are going to ask me is, potash difficulties because there were headlines about potash. It was true. There was potash difficulty. About 30 per cent of the world’s potash comes from Russia and Belarus. So, when the crisis started there was a blockade, there were sanctions and all kinds of issues, and we couldn’t get potash,” he said.

“But now, I’m glad to report that we have solved the potash problem. On June 3rd, the first vessel will arrive from Russia. On June 6th, the second vessel will arrive from Canada.

“The President gave us the instruction to go and solve it, find it wherever you can, bring it into the county. We will have enough potash between now and the middle of June for all our needs for the year.

“Last year, we had enough to produce up to 40 per cent of the country’s need in inventory in the warehouses, so that’s coming out. Central bank is one of the big buyers, and they’re releasing it.”

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Nigerian farmers have groaned over the shortage of the agricultural inputs, leading to hoarding and a sharp increase in their prices

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Orji assured the government is now buying most of the raw materials needed to ease the supply challenges.

“Our job is to ensure that we have most of these raw materials available and as you may be aware, fertiliser and oil and gas were not included in the banned items

“We are assuring our farmers that these items will arrive on time ahead of June and July, which are the biggest application seasons.”

He also warned those hoarding fertilisers.

He further assured farmers that the unavailability of potash, which was the biggest problem last year, has been solved earlier through the PFI, which seeks to drive the fertiliser initiative.

“Anybody who is hoarding, it’s not fair to do that. We have a food crisis, and there are agencies of government that are now involved in ensuring that people release what they have. We are going to unleash a whole bunch of supplies. At the moment, we’re struggling to clear them at the ports. We have two vessels discharging phosphate, and there’s already more in the warehouses,” Orji said.

“So, I sense that as these things get into the market, by the time we get into the peak application season at end of June and July, I’m hoping that this problem will be completely solved.”

On the contributions of the NSIA to security, Orji stated that it has procured 16 patrol trucks and donated the same to the security agencies to boost security, especially on the Abuja Kaduna road.

He affirmed that the administration of President Buhari has so far committed over N100 billion to the implementation of the ongoing Second Niger Bridge project Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).

The fund is being implemented by the Authority.

Orji recalled that only N19 billion was expended on the project before the coming of the administration.

The NSIA boss said the money invested in the project and others including the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway was part of the $300 million recovered from funds looted by the former Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

Orji affirmed that government was working on the instruction to ensure that recovered loot must be expended on the projects.

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