The Federal Government, on Monday, explained that the cost of fertiliser had continued to go up 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.
The scorecard series is organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture, with the fifth edition featuring the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar.
Responding to a question on the high cost of fertiliser in the country, the minister of information and culture 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 US Dollars (USD). Today, the same one metric costs 1,255 USD.
“In 2017, one metric ton of potash cost 256 USD. Today, the same one 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 component at the international market had 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 production, cost and distribution of the commodity.
He said that the initiative yielded results, including the increase of fertiliser blending plants from four in 2015 when they assumed office to 72 presently.
The minister also recalled that before the prices of the fertilizer 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 fertilizer would have been higher than what presently obtained in the market.
NAN reports that the price of the commodity in retail market currently 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 the prices of fertliser and its production components globally to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the Russia-Ukraine war.
He said that 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 would cushion the effects of high cost of fertiliser.