Group Rejects Government’s Waiver Plan For Fertiliser Import      

A faction of the Inorganic Fertilizer Manufactures and Dealers Association of Nigeria has rejected federal government’s plan to grant waiver to about seven fertiliser companies to import about 1.5million metric tonnes of fertiliser into the country.

This is against the backdrop of a request by the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, to the Presidency to grant waiver to these companies to import the product. The Guardian gathered that the planned waiver was at the behest of some fertiliser producers, who had complained to the Minister about their inability to get raw materials for the product, as Boko Haram insurgents had hijacked the raw materials and using them for explosives.

However, the National President Fertilisers Association, Felix Okonti, while speaking to The Guardian, yesterday, in Abuja, faulted the claim that the product was being used for explosives, noting that not all chemical fertiliser can be used for bomb or explosives.

“Ammonia is usually used to make urea, but the farmers don’t really need urea, we suggested to them that we should not give them pure urea, rather they should allow them blend urea with other formulations that will make it impossible to use it for bomb,” he explained.

Okonti added that “When we got wind of the memo from the Minister of Agriculture to the President waiting to be approved, we kicked that Nigerian farmers are going to be crucified further for the benefit of the Indian farmers.”He alleged that the Association was dubiously made to attend a meeting where members input was sought on the said memo, only to discover that the content of the memo was different from what was agreed.