Nigeria’s federal government has disclosed that the country will take delivery of 105, 000 metric tonnes of basic raw materials for fertiliser production from Canada and Russia next week.
It also explained that it had also secured Letters of Credit for three vessels of basic raw materials that would arrive on June 3, 2022.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, who made this known while speaking at the weekly media briefing organised by the Presidential Media team at the State House, Abuja, stated that a total of 105,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser inputs would be coming from Canada and Russia in the next few days.
According to him, out of the number, 35,000 tonnes would be from Russia while the rest would be imported from Canada.
He added: “But now that we’ve re-established the Russia supply link for pottash, subsequent transactions will likely come from Russia, just because it saves us time. It’s one week shorter in terms of saving time for the vessel from Russia versus Canada. Because it’s not even Canada it’s not east of Canada it’s central Canada, that’s where these things come from. So it’s a long journey to get to Nigeria.”
The NSIA boss, who stated that fertiliser was exempted from items sanctioned by the European Union against Russia, noted that expected items included Potash and Ammonium being imported from Russia and Canada.
The recent crisis between Russia and Ukraine had led to a scarcity of fertilisers owing to slow supply from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
Russia is the world’s number one exporter of nitrogen fertiliser and second in phosphorus and potassium fertilisers.
Orji further said: “Letters of Credit has been established for four vessels of phosphate.”
According to him, “two vessels are currently being discharged, the third vessel is currently on queue at the Onne port for discharge and the fourth vessel has been nominated.”
Orji who also disclosed that two vessels of Ammonium Sulphate totaling 95,000 metric tonnes had been established, adding 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,” he added.
Nigerian farmers have lamented the shortage of the agricultural inputs, leading to hoarding and sharp increase in their prices.
Orji assured the government was now buying most of the raw materials needed to ease the supply challenges.
His words: “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 biggest application season.”
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 fertiliser initiative.
He also warned those hoarding fertilisers.
“Anybody who is hoarding, it’s not fair to do that. We have a food crisis, and there are agencies of government who are now involved in ensuring that people release what they have. We are going to unleash a whole bunch of supply. 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.
“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 the, it has procured 16 patrol trucks and donated same to the security agencies to boost security, especially on the Abuja Kaduna road.
“The President recently approved for the NSIA through some of the gains made from managing the PIDF to buy 16 patrol trucks given to the police to ensure that every 10 kilometer of the Abuja-Kaduna road there’s a patrol truck to improve security.
“There’s a lot of work now being done to get the contractors back to site and working. So you’ll see more progress there. But I will encourage you, those of you who are able, drive through to Kaduna, you’ll see what a beautiful piece of work being done on the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road. Lagos-Ibadan ongoing, hopefully all completed and commissioned between the end of this year and the middle of next year. Abuja-Kaduna road, sadly, will go beyond that because of the Abuja-Kaduna end but a lot of work is going on.”