Monday, February 6, 2023

High fertiliser price not peculiar to Nigeria: Lai Mohammed

The increase was pinned on the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the Russia-Ukraine war.

• November 28, 2022
Information Minister Lai Mohammed
Information Minister Lai Mohammed

The federal government on Monday explained that the rising cost of fertiliser was due to a global increase in its production components.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He said the initiative yielded results, including increased fertiliser blending plants from four in 2015 when they assumed office to 72 presently.

The minister also recalled that before the prices of the fertiliser components 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 cost of fertiliser would have been higher than what is presently obtained in the market.

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

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

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

The minister assured that the federal government would continue to mitigate the impacts and implement policies and programmes that cushion the effects of the high cost of fertiliser. 

(NAN)

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