By Emmanuel Afonne
Mr Val Nwandu, a major stakeholder in the fertiliser industry, has called for increased private participation in the business to make the market more viable and accessible to the Nigerian farmer.
Nwandu is the Managing Director, Takagro and Chemical Nig. Ltd., the company in charge of logistics under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI).
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday that the price of fertiliser is supposed to be determined by market forces not the government.
He explained that the current fertiliser initiative was working well because of the transparency of those involved in the programme but noted that the market should be allowed to determine the price.
“Let the market dictate the price; government should create an enabling environment for the players to play.
“Government should also monitor and regulate but it should let the market work. When government fixes price, there is distortion but when the market determines the price, there is a balance.
“The supply and demand will have to determine the price for it to be sustainable; the good thing is that we have demonstrated that we can meet the challenges of supply.
“If market determines the price, there will be a level playing field and more people will come and invest in it, while government plays its role as a regulator.
“The more they invest in it, the price will come to equilibrium; that is how economics works. Let the price be determined by supply and demand,” Nwandu said.
He said that the business of government should be to ensure quality and prosecute adulterators of fertiliser.
Nwandu commended the Buhari-led administration for its strategy on fertiliser production and distribution, saying that it had brought down the price of the commodity to N5,500.
He also applauded the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative of the government which allowed experts to make input in the fertiliser industry.