Of the 32 moribund fertiliser blending plants in Nigeria, 18 of them are now operational following a rehabilitation under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) scheme, the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) have said in a report monitored by business a.m.
Thomas Etuh, FEPSAN president said only six fertiliser plants were working at 10 percent capacity before the intervention of PFI, which jerked the figures up to 11 plants in the first phase and 18 thereafter.
He said the plants are each located in Zamfara, Ajaokuta, Kogi; Akwa-Ibom and Funtua, Katsina, and Kaduna. By year end, the plants in Kogi and Zamfara are expected to be back in operations, while the Katsina plant is anticipated to come up by first quarter of 2019.
“At the end of last year’s season, we closed with 12 fertiliser blending plants because WACOT Limited, in collaboration with the Edo State Government, added one plant to the 11 we had in the first phase. About five plants are being evaluated to meet up the standards before we enlist them, and I can also tell you that because of this programme, we have five new fertiliser blending plants being set up in the country.”
Etuh believes Nigeria would soon be reckoned with in area of fertiliser production, considering the chunk of funds being invested in the industry in the last three years.
According to him, about 63 percent of the raw materials are locally available with materials produced by some companies.
“We have limestone granules with calcium produced by West African Fertiliser Company in Okpela; we have the Urea produced by INDORAMA and NOTORE in Onne, Rivers State. So, I know that in the next two to three years, Aliko Dangote’s fertiliser plant will start production and others are also coming up. Currently, Nigeria is a net exporter of Urea-based fertiliser,” he said.
“With the Aliko plant coming on board and INDORAMA increasing to a second line, we will be producing about 7 million tonnes of fertiliser. About 70 percent of the fertiliser would be for exports, while the remaining 30 per cent would be used within the country.’’
Etuh, who is also a PFI committee member, said that FEPSAN was working hard to ensure that every farmer cluster had a blending plant to ease product transportation costs and facilitate a reduction in fertiliser prices.
He said the fertiliser blending plants in Niger and Plateau are to service states in the north central area, while the plants in Lagos are to cater for states in the southwest and south east zones including Kwara.
Frontpage February 7, 2019