Thursday, April 15, 2021

Buhari queries Nanono for granting ‘illegal’ fertilizer importation waivers


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President Muhammadu Buhari has queried the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono, for issuing importation waivers to some companies, contrary to the presidential order on local production of fertilizer in the country.

The minister, ThisDay gathered, had issued import licenses to some importers to import fertilizers into the country purportedly to bridge the shortfall between local production and the demand for the product.

It was also gathered that the minister’s action had contradicted the significant strides achieved in the last three years of the implementation of the presidential initiative.

The presidential query was signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, demanding explanations on the breach of the presidential policy.

It was gathered that the query followed a protest by local producers who notified the Presidency of the minister’s action.

The presidency expressed worries that the minister’s action threatened to undermine the gains made by the 28 local blending companies, including the upcoming Dangote Refinery.

Recall that Nigeria and Morocco had signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2016 to help the former revive its ailing fertilizer industry through the supply of phosphates for local blending.

The MOU, which was consummated in 2018 during the visit of Buhari to Morocco, had helped to revive 28 of the country’s comatose companies, which were primed to increase Nigeria’s production capacity to 2.3 million tonnes and engage over 50,000 Nigerians.

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