The Zamfara State Government says it has revived its fertiliser blending company located in Gusau after 13 years’ inactivity.
The Managing Director of the company, Mustafa Anka, disclosed this while conducting journalists round the blending plant in Gusau on Tuesday.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the company was built in 1998 during the former military administrator of the state, Jibril Bala-Yakubu.
Mr Anka said that the company produces all brand of Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium, NPK, such as 20, 10, 10, and 27, 13, 13.
According to him, the company stopped production since 2006, due to lack of funding.
“God’s willing the present administration under the leadership of Gov. Bello Matawallen-Maradun has come with mission to revive this company.
“Governor Bello Matawallen-Maradun within his first week of his inauguration as a governor of this state visited the company and ask us what is holding us behind.
“We told him that our major problem was funding, he gave us N10 million for test running.
“We are already partnering with Savannah Global Agro Resources Limited who brought raw materials for us at the cost of over N30 million.
“We have embarked on this production as test running, we are now producing 20 tonnes per hour and waiting for the governor to come and see our level of performance before we proceed,’’ he said.
He commended the effort by the present administration in the state and described it as a welcome development.
“This is timely, especially as the way it would provide both permanent and temporary jobs for the people of the state.
“This company has the capacity to produce 35 tonnes per hour and if the company resumed in full operations, in ten hours we will be able to have ten trucks of fertilizer.
“The company need N2 billion to operate to full capacity, you know the issue of fertilizer blending is capital intensive.
“Though, we have already approached Bank of Agriculture, they directed us to go to Sterling Bank to obtain loan and the bank said they are ready to give us the loan of N2 billion on single digit interest.
“Therefore, with the permission of the state governor if everything works fine, we will resume on full production very soon.
“Our basic challenge is the funding; you can see the machines are okay, in terms of workforce if we have enough funding we can get many workers since we will be paying them directly.’’
According to him, if the funds are available everything is okay from us.
“For this test run, we employed ten casual workers in addition to the existing 38 workers in the company.
“But if we are to go on full production, we will be able to produce jobs for 500 people,’’ he added.
Michael Okigbo, the Managing Director Savannah Global Agro Resource Limited, said that his company was in a partnership with the Zamfara State Fertiliser Company.
Mr Okigbo said that the purpose of the partnership was to make raw materials available to the company for the production of fertiliser, which would be made available to the people of the state at affordable prices.