Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority NSIA has invested N107billion in Presidential Fertiliser Initiative PFI.The agency plans to invest another N114 billion in the year on raw materials, logistics, contract blending costs by third party blenders, among others.
The FPI programme has revived 31 blending plants, increasing domestic production capacity by about 300 per cent and improving the quality of fertiliser.PFI makes high-quality fertiliser to farmers at affordable price, and to revive the ailing fertiliser blending industry to enable Nigeria achieve food security.
In three years, PFI has proven to be a legacy that has changed the agricultural and agro-business industry in the country for good. It has achieved a chunk of its mandate to become a model for the government’s intervention in critical sectors and a template for government-led import substitution.
PFI is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, after reviews by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
‘’Also, this cannot be possible without strict control systems which ensure that we monitor the flow of materials and funds,” said a source at the PFI.
For instance, to mitigate against pilferage under the programme, there is a joint security task force superintended by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). It monitors the movement, storage and handling of raw materials and finished products alongside appointed Collateral Managers who ensure quality, consistency in weight and mix per bag of NPK 20:10:10 to avoid adulteration.
In addition, he said, Collateral Managers reviews each blending plant to ensure that contractual standards are upheld.
Also, to prevent adulteration, the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria assists with periodic testing and quality assurance. IAR and more recently the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan conduct random tests on each batch of finished products.
The price per bag at the gate of any PFI accredited distributor is monitored and has remained N5,500 per bag since inception until recently when it was reduced by President MuhammaduBuhari by N500 per bag, to N5,000 with effect from April, as a covid-19 palliative and shortfalls in cost is paid to the NSIA.
To obviate sharp practices from any quarters, a top official stated: “Under PFI, sales collections are received through partner commercial banks of the blending plants with regularly sweeps into NSIA’s TSA accounts.
‘’Settlement of credit sales is similarly routed and terminates in a TSA account. The programme is structured such that it is impossible to make lodgments into accounts outside the designated accounts for each blending plant.”
The prudent management of the PFI has transformed the agriculture sector in obvious ways. For instance, NPK fertiliser which was sold at between N11,000 to N13,000 per 50kg bag in some places sells for N5000, making it possible for farmers to access more of the product to improve yields.