Sovereign Wealth Fund Resuscitates 11 Fertilizer Blending Firms, Crashes Fertilizer Price

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (second right), in a group photograph with the management of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority when the Minister visited the corporate headquarters of the Authority in Abuja on Monday.

The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), also known as the
Sovereign Wealth Fund, has resuscitated 11 fertilizer blending plants
across the country, which substantially brought down the price of
fertilizer, ended fertilizer subsidy and ensured the availability of the
commodity.

The Fund’s Managing Director Uche Orji disclosed this in Abuja on Monday,
while receiving the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai
Mohammed, who paid a courtesy visit to the Authority.

“We have delivered over 6 million bags of NPK 20:10:10 at 30% below the
market price without subsidy. In the process of that, we have also created
over 50,000 jobs. We have rehabilitated 11 blending plants that had either
been under capacity or moribund,” he said.

He said six other moribund fertilizer blending plants across the country
are at various stages of rehabilitation and will come on board by the end
of the year.

Mr. Orji said through this intervention, the Fund has saved the government                   over N50 billion in subsidy this year, based on the fact that the government                   used to subsidize fertilizer to the tune of N6,000 per bag.

The NSIA boss said the fertilizer initiative of the Authority also assisted                          the government to conserve foreign exchange through the substitution of 65% components of the fertilizer with local content.

According to him, the Fund eliminated fertilizer subsidy and middlemen in
the distribution process by putting whistle blower telephone numbers on
every bag to guard against arbitrary increase in the price of the commodity.

While commending the Fund for its intervention in the critical sectors of
the economy, the Minister said the present administration has succeeded in
breaking the jinx in fertilizer supply to farmers.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (right), and the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Mr. Uche Orji, when the Minister visited the corporate headquarters of the Authority in Abuja on Monday.

“You have done three major things here. One is that you have crashed the
price of fertilizer and this in itself is very significant because what we
have today is that for the cost of one bag of fertilizer, you can get two
bags of fertilizer.

“When you now look at the improvement in the type of fertilizer that you
are now making available, it has helped us to increase yield from about 2
metric tonnes per hectare to 7 metric tonnes and I think in some areas up
to 11. More remarkable to me is that we have been able to demystify the
fertilizer conundrum,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said the intervention by the Fund has also eliminated
corruption and scandals in the procurement of fertilizer.

The Minister observed that the interventions and the laudable efforts that
the Fund is making, especially in the area of Agriculture, infrastructure
and health, are ground-breaking and pledged to partner with the Fund in
order to publicize its activities.

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