The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), says the number of fertiliser blending plants working in Nigeria has risen to 47.
Mr Uche Orji, NSIA’s Managing Director, disclosed this at the weekly State House media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Orji said the NSIA managed the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) through which many developmental projects were being handled.
He said that the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) had achieved set goals including reduction in the price of fertiliser.
“Now, let me switch from the PIDF and speak on the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative; the first thing is that the PFI has been truly revolutionary; it has achieved a number of key objectives.
“First objective is that we have now revived the domestic fertilizer blending industry.
“Before PIDF started, we had, I remember, fertiliser price in 2016, was as high as N13, 000 a bag; it was scarce; government was spending a lot of money on subsidy and there was no domestic blending industry at all operational.
`There were four working and running at less than 10 per cent utilisation.
“Post-PIDF, we have achieved the following successes: number one, the number of domestic blending plants involved in the fertiliser initiative has now gone from initially, we started with seven, got to 11 in the first year.
“We now have 47 blending plants; we had 30 last year. We have 47 now as part of the fertiliser initiative of the president.”
According to him, the moribund fertiliser industry has been revived.
“Number two, the cost of fertiliser then was N13, 000; the president, in the first year, brought it down to N5,500 and it has gone up a bit —N7,500 to N8000 still with inflation and whatever else that has happened, that is quite reasonable.
“I am seeing about N8, 600 to N9000, fine, fair enough; the point though is that the market has now become domesticated.
“We used to buy everything completely finished; now, we are bringing only raw materials we do not have in Nigeria and we are getting the local market to work.’’
He said that moving from four companies initially to 47 operational plants and from N13, 000 to N5, 500 had created domestic employment.
“Third point, even with price at N13, 000 in 2016, there was scarcity everywhere; in the first year of PFI being implemented, we had seven million bags of excess products in the warehouses.
“So, nobody, I hear is complaining about fertilizer being an issue.
“The programme is being restructured completely again one more step, but that is to ensure that the gains of the initial restructuring are maintained,’’ he said.
On healthcare, he said that the authority had concluded plans to build a world class hospital in Abuja, as part of its plans to strengthen Nigeria’s health care delivery system.
According to him, the authority is also developing 20 various health projects in the areas of cancer, radiology and diagnostics across the country to revamp Nigeria’s health sector.
Orji said the NSIA had rebuilt the Cancer Centre at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and built two world class diagnostic and radiology centres in Kano and Umuahia.