NSIA achieves $350m forex savings, creates 250,000 jobs

FOLLOWING the implementation of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI), the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) announced that it has saved over $350 million from the erstwhile payments on subsidy and import substitution, adding that it also recorded notable successes and transformative impact from the PFI over the past four years. 

It will be recalled that the presidency had approved its restructuring starting from the 2021 cycle with various modifications and new arrangements which transitioned the NSIA to an upstream player. 

Speaking on restructuring, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NSIA, Uche Orji said that with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, the programme has accomplished its principal objectives. 

Orji stresses that “having fulfilled the establishment, stabilisation, and market discipline phase of PFI, the primary objective of which was to revive the blending plants and create a viable domestic blending industry.” 

According to him, “we believe the PFI should gradually evolve into the next phase, which is a tactical withdrawal of intervention in the industry and the emergence of a self-sufficient, sustainable, and efficiently operated market”, adding that “NSIA is pleased with the government’s decision and looks forward to seeing the innovation and creativity which will characterize the open market in the sector.” 

Also speaking on the development, the governor of Jigawa State, who is also the chairman of the implementing committee of the PFI, Mohammed Abubakar Badaru said, “the programme has in many ways served to augment the administration’s policy-driven programmes to diversify the Nigerian economy. In the main, the programme has bolstered Nigeria’s industrial base, resuscitated, and strengthened domestic production capacity for fertiliser.” 

“It has also eliminated the huge fertiliser subsidy burden placed on Federal Government, created thousands of direct and indirect jobs and alleviated the plight of the domestic farmer by ensuring availability of fertiliser. Clearly, the programme is a strong value proposition for the nation in the agriculture space given the variety of socio-economic benefits it presents. We are grateful to Mr President for creating this programme and look forwards to supporting the next phase as it evolves”, he stated. 

On his part, Mr Thomas Etuh, the chairman of the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) said that the restructuring is a welcome development for FEPSAN, adding that “the new approach will afford operators the opportunity to build recognisable and trusted brand while ramping up distribution nationwide.” 

“Under this new arrangement, it is provided that blenders will no longer be paid blending fees by NAIC-NPK as they will recover their costs directly from selling the fertilizers to the market, an action that is expected to balance the incentives of the business and ensure the blenders build the right capacity to actively participate in the local supply sub-sector.” 

Further, the arrangement provides that blending plants to provide bank guarantees to cover requisitioned raw materials demand that are appropriated for their respective production volumes while the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), are expected to engage commercial banks to facilitate lines of concessionary credits to blending plants for the purchase of raw materials. It is also expected that the CBN will ensure that the foreign exchange needed for the program is provided when needed to cover some raw materials while the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will perform its statutory monitoring and quality control role over blender activities and blenders will be responsible for bulk of the activities in the Fertilizer production value chain such as transporting the raw materials, sourcing filler, blending the fertilizer and selling to off-takers. 

According to NSIA, the benefits of the new approach are enormous and includes unlocking of more development finance (loans and investments) into the local fertilizer blending value chain of Nigeria, strengthening the market systems and encouraging actor participation, leading to potential mergers and acquisition as well as innovation and growth across the industry which will benefit farmers. 

The agency emphasised that within four years of the initiative, the programme has delivered on key outcomes including over 30 million bags of 50kg NPK 20:10:10 equivalent spanning project period; price reduction on fertilizer from over N10, 000 to under N5, 500 while 41 blending plants have been resuscitated from an initial number of four plants at project inception.

It explained further that an estimated 250,000 jobs; both direct and indirect have been created across the agriculture value chain; in logistics, ports, bagging, rail, industrial warehousing and haulage touchpoints amongst others, adding that food security has also been achieved by facilitating an increase in domestic food production through the provision of affordable, high-quality fertiliser.



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