The Minister of National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, has said the federal government will soon introduce a policy that will ensure that products, which the country has comparative advantage to produce, particularly fertiliser, are not imported into the country.
Speaking in Kaduna State when he visited the Super Phosphate Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited, in continuation of his monitoring tour of privatised companies under the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), he said: “We need to stop the importation of products we can produce in Nigeria including fertiliser. A policy statement is coming out in few weeks to address that. What we can produce in Nigeria, we must not import.”
He also said government was keen at further boosting the agricultural sector in the rural area, having had an impressive impact on Nigerians.
He said the current administration, through the Ministry of Agriculture has ended the scam of fertiliser which was synonymous with the sector in past.
The minister assured that the federal government would ensure that local producers of fertiliser do not suffer low patronage as the proposed ban on the importation would boost local patronage.
Sulaiman said if the country must address the issue of job creation and reduction of poverty, the local companies must be sustained and encouraged to expand their capacities for production.
However, the minister advised the company to beef up security in the company by mounting Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and enlisting the support of the military as well as body scanners to ensure a better security to forestall a situation where insurgents could steal their products and cause harm in the country.
Briefing the minister earlier, Chairman of the company, Shehu Birman, commended the President Goodluck Jonathan for the faith reposed in the company by handing over the company to the private sector, a situation which according to him had resulted into the production of 5,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser as well as having the capacity to produce 70,000 tonnes yearly.
Birma also described agriculture as the best way to go in Nigeria, judging from Nigeria’s huge population and commended the support now coming from the federal government to boost the sector.
In a statement by Head of Information, NPC, Salisu Haiba, he listed low patronage as a result of importation of fertiliser and electricity concern as major challenges confronting the company.