Russia is to supply Nigeria with potash, a major raw material for the production of fertilizer, according to a deal signed by both countries on Monday at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
The agreement was signed on behalf of Nigeria by the Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji; while Mr. Dmitry Konyeaev signed on behalf of the Russian company that will supply the solid mineral.
Speaking at the event, Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru, who is also the Chairman, Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, described the agreement as “another milestone in President Buhari’s effort to increase farm production and to support farmers”.
He recalled that President Putin of Russia hosted African leaders recently at a summit attended by President Buhari.
“During one of the side meetings, President proposed the possibility of Nigeria buying Potash form a company in Russia and today we witnessed a culmination of that discussion, as Nigeria and Russia have signed an agreement on potash purchase by Nigeria.
“What we have just witnessed will help in stabilizing the price of NPK brand of fertilizer that we produce locally. The beauty of this deal is that it is a direct purchase, no commission agent and also because of the involvement of the two Presidents, the price is very competitive,” the Governor explained.
In his remark, Uche Orji, disclosed that ” between 2017 when the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative started and today, over 19 million bags of fertilizer have been blended by this programme at a price of N5,500.
“More importantly, we have revived some of the blending plants that were moribund. Today, as we approach the programme for 2020, 26 local blending plants, which include some of the old and new ones have joined the programme.”
Highlighting some of the gains of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative PFI programme, Orji said: “Through the programme, fertilizer has been freely available especially for NPL 20:10:10, since 2017-2019. We have had a very successful programme so far with over 19 million bags of the product blended and sold and this chapter of our engagement Is a new phase in the whole PFI programme.”
The Deputy Chairman of the Russian company that will supply the product, Uralchem, Mr. Dmitry Konyaev, said his country was looking into ways of making the product more available at a competitive price.
“We are bringing potash at a very competitive international price for Nigeria and we have to develop our cooperation on how to make the product more available and affordable for the farmers and make their lives better,” he pledged.
The signing ceremony was supervised by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, alongside the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Alexey Sherbashin.