The Farm Input Support Services Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has commenced the issuance of certificates of registration and sales permits to fertilizer operators that have gone through the rigorous assessment and certification process and are found eligible to be awarded the Certificates of Registration and Sales Permit. The presentation of the certificates commenced at the Agricultural Inputs Relevant Stakeholders meeting and presentation of Certificates and Sales permits to fertilizer operators held at Debbie’s Upper-class Events and Recreation Centre, Orozo, Nasarawa State on 30th August – 1st September, 2022.

The Permanent Secretary Mr. Ernest Umakhihe represented by the Director of Special Duties, Mrs. Fausat Lawal emphasized the need for these twin functions of the stakeholders’ meeting and stated that it is not only critical but important in the desire and determination to harvest the views of the relevant stakeholders in policy decisions and also issue instruments to the operators to allow them to operate fertilizer business in Nigeria.

He disclosed that the Ministry had trained and deployed to the 36 States and FCT, Fertilizer and Agricultural Pesticides Quality Control Inspectors who are currently working with relevant security agencies to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act and Regulations, in order to protect the farmers and the industries.

He went further to reveal that the non-licensed operators are by the law not allowed to produce, blend, import, market or distribute fertilizers in the country.

He then encouraged the suppliers to ensure that only licensed agro-dealers are allowed to buy their products and abide strictly and operate within the provisions of the Act and the implementing regulations.

He pointed out that a grace period of two (2) months has been granted for those who have not obtained theirs as failure to do so will have their facilities sealed off with resultant prosecution.

He commended the federal government for the Act signed into law by President Buhari in 2019 as well as the implementing regulations that were signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2020 which requires that all companies that would operate in Nigeria must be registered and get the Certificate of Registration and Sales Permit from the authorized implementing authority.

He however pointed out that efforts were on to address the challenges to enhance the food production and food security challenges, particularly those affecting the fertilizer industry.

He revealed that efforts were being made to source basic raw materials that were not available in the country. Like, Urea and Limestone (NPKs) which are obtained locally while Diammonia Phosphate (DAP) and Muriate of Potash (MOP) are sourced from Morocco and Belarus.

The resultant scarcity he noted, gave rise to the high cost of the raw materials and the price of the corresponding finished products-NPKs but to tackle the issue head-on, the Ministry is working with the relevant agencies to source the two important raw materials locally through the Solid Mineral Development Fund to guide against future scarcity.

The Director of the Farm Input Support Services Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Kwaido M.S. remarked that the Act and the Regulations is not intended to create a stumbling block to the operator’s business but to protect the genuine entrepreneurs, the farmers, the environment and the entire citizenry from both economic and human losses.