By Emmanuel Afonne
The Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) in collaboration with office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), has threatened to arrest and prosecute anyone engaging in the adulteration and profiteering of fertiliser in the country.
FEPSAN President Mr Thomas Etuh, issued the threat in Kaduna on Friday at a stakeholders forum organised for distributors under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI).
Etuh, who was represented by Mr Valentine Nwandu, the Managing Director of TakAgro limited, a fertiliser producing company, said arrangements have been concluded with the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Department of State Security (DSS) and the Police to arrest the perpetrators.
“Measures are ongoing to sustain the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI), aimed at making fertilizers available for Nigerian farmers.
“Some of them (adulterators) will soon be used as example for others to learn.
“That is why we are taking it seriously especially with the Nigerian Police Force, DSS; office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) is working on it.
“Adulteration of fertiliser is affecting the farmers. If for instance a farmer buys two bags for his crops and because of adulteration he records poor harvest, it destroys his livelihood and makes him be at the receiving end.
“We are working hard to ensure that fertilizer is surplus for the farmers from 2018 farming season and beyond,’’ Etuh said.
The Vice President of FEPSAN, Alhaji Saidu Zakari, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that security agents have started patrolling some states in pursuit of the adulterators warning that anyone caught would not be spared.
Zakari also noted that security agents have also been deployed to patrol the 11 resuscitated fertiliser blending plants in the country to ensure strict compliance of the rules and regulations guiding the production of the commodity.
“The blending plants are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and there are patrol teams that go round to make sure that the whole exercise is always sanitised; so we are proud that we don’t have security challenges as far as the blending plants are concerned,’’ he said.
According to him, fertiliser plants in the country are constantly scrutinised to ensure they do not involve in the production of explosives.
“The issue of security as it concerns fertiliser is a very wide area but it is not all the products that is used in manufacturing of explosives; it is an aspect of Urea.
“Other aspects like NPK and other components are not used for explosives, but of course FEPSAN members are very responsible.
“We thoroughly screen them; so before any member is recognised, we must know where he is she operates from and we must also know their bankers.
“We are dealing with people with identity who are responsible in the society. However, as we give them training, we always emphasise that they should be conscious of who they deal with,’’ Zakari said.
No fewer than 150 FEPSAN registered distributors were issued certificates.