The President of the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Mr. Thomas Etuh, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving an order banning foreign exchange for companies importing fertilizer and some staple food items.
Etuh described the president’s pronouncement as a demonstration of his determination to ensure self-sufficiency in food production.
The FEPSAN boss noted that President Buhari has demonstrated uncommon commitment to the development of the agricultural sector in the country, urging Nigerians to support the efforts geared towards making the country self-sufficient in food production.
“FEPSAN is grateful to the President for his uncommon commitment to Agriculture in general and the fertilizer industry in particular,” Etuh said.
“His effort towards growing this most critical sector of the Nigerian economy has continued to yield tremendous dividends, especially since the launch of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative in December 2016.
“Today, 35 fertilizer plants are operating at full capacity across the country, employing hundreds of thousands of people directly and indirectly, and supporting farmers with high quality fertilizer inputs.”
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He added that the billions of naira already invested in the agricultural sector by Nigerians and other foreign investors bear strong testament to the confidence the private sector reposes in the capacity of President Buhari to steer Nigeria to enhanced local agricultural development, employment generation and food security.
Etuh said it is in response to the government’s commitment to enhancing the fortunes of the country in the agriculture value chain that members of the fertilizer association have ramped up investment in the production of quality, locally-adapted fertilizer that have been supplied to local farmers.
He said: “Mr. President, in his wisdom, understands the importance of local capacity building in the overall economic development of our dear country.
“Against the possibilities of pressures from briefcase investors to pen-up the country for the importation of all manner of food items and agro inputs, we at FEPSAN appreciate his unwavering commitment towards amplifying the gains so far recorded in banning the importation of fertilizer and other food items.
“He knows the importance of foreign exchange conservation and prioritization of local capacity building in the redistribution of income, and we will continue to work with the Federal Government to ensure that the immense opportunities in the country’s agricultural sector are fully exploited for the good of the national economy.”
He also thanked the Central Bank of Nigeria for the professional way it has managed the anchor borrowers programme, saying it has helped to re-energise the agricultural sector and empower farmers to multiply productivity.