FG gives reasons for high cost of fertiliser

FG gives reasons for high cost of fertiliser

By Rotimi Ijikanmi, Abuja.

 

The Federal Government on Monday said that the cost of fertiliser had continued to go up due to the global increase in its production components.

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the explanation in Abuja at the fifth edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration’s Scorecard 2015-2017 series.

 

The scorecard series is organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, with its fifth edition featuring the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar.

 

Responding to a question on the high cost of fertiliser in the country, the minister of information and culture said that it was a global issue.

 

He explained that from 2017 till date, the prices of three major raw materials for fertiliser production — phosphate, potash and urea — had skyrocketed.

 

“In 2017, one metric ton of phosphate cost 290 U.S. Dollars (USD). Today, the same one metric costs 1,255 USD.

 

“In 2017, one metric ton of potash cost 256 USD. Today, the same one metric ton costs 1,187 USD.

 

“In 2017, one metric ton of Urea was 300 USD. Today, one metric ton is 1,037 USD.

 

“You can see that the prices of fertiliser components at the international market had gone up and this is not peculiar to Nigeria,’’ he said.

 

The minister recalled that when the Buhari-administration came on board in 2015, it launched the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative to address the perennial challenges facing fertiliser production, cost and distribution.

 

Mohammed said that the initiative yielded results, including the increase of fertiliser blending plants from four in 2015, when Buhari assumed office, to 72 presently.

 

The minister also recalled that before the prices of fertilizer started going up in 2017, the Buhari-administration succeeded in bringing it down from N10,000 to N5,000.

 

According to him, if not for the fertiliser initiative of the Federal Government, the prices of fertilizer would have been higher than the current prices in the market.

 

The price of the commodity in retail market is currently between N20,000 to N25,000 for a bag of NPK or urea fertiliser.

 

Corroborating Mohammed, the agriculture and rural development minister attributed the increase in the prices of fertiliser and its production components globally to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the Russia-Ukraine war.

 

He said that Nigeria was not insulated from the global impacts and inflationary trends.

 

Abubakar assured that the Federal Government would continue to mitigate the impacts, while implementing policies and programmes that would cushion the effects of high cost of fertiliser.

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