NAN: The Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for re-emphasising the need to sustain the ban placed on the importation of fertiliser and some staple food items into Nigeria.
President of FEPSAN, Mr Thomas Etuh who gave the commendation in a statement issued on Friday said the presidential pronouncement is a demonstration of the determination of Mr President to ensure self-sufficiency in the country.
Etuh said the president had demonstrated uncommon commitment to the development of the agricultural sector in the country, and urged Nigerians to support the efforts towards making the country self-sufficient in food production.
“FEPSAN is grateful to the President for his uncommon commitment to agriculture in general and the fertiliser industry in particular.
“His efforts towards growing capacity in this most critical sector of the Nigerian economy have continued to yield tremendous dividends, especially since the launching of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) in December 2016.
“Today, 35 fertiliser plants are operating at full capacity across the country, employing hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly and supporting farmers with high quality fertiliser inputs,” Etuh said.
He added that the billions of naira invested in the agricultural sector by Nigerians and other foreign investors bear strong testaments to the confidence the private sector reposes on President Buhari to enhanced local agricultural development and food security.
Etuh further said that the desire to enhance the fortunes of the country in agriculture value chain propelled FEPSAN members to ramp up investments in the production of quality and locally-adapted fertiliser that have been supplied to local farmers.
“Mr President, in his wisdom understands the importance of local capacity building in the overall economic development of our dear country.
“Against the possibilities of pressures from briefcase investors to pen up the country for the importation of all manner of food items and agro inputs, we at FEPSAN appreciate his unwavering commitment towards amplifying the gains so far recorded in banning the importation of fertiliser and other food items.
“He knows the importance of foreign exchange conservation and prioritisation of local capacity building in the redistribution of income and we will continue to work with the Federal Government to ensure that the immense opportunities in the country’s agricultural sector are fully exploited for the good of the national economy,” Etuh added.
He also commended the Central Bank of Nigeria for the professional way it had managed the anchor borrowers’ programme, noting that it had helped in re-energising the agricultural sector and empowered farmers to multiply productivity. (NAN)