The Federal Government has said that an increase in the cost of natural gas, a component needed in fertiliser production and post-COVID-19 shutdowns of key raw materials in manufacturing plants are the reasons for higher prices of fertiliser, that has risen between 110 and 150 per cent.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, stated this at a press conference at the National Press Centre, Abuja, on Thursday. He was reacting to an allegation by a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, that farmers now pay 200 per cent more for a bag of fertiliser.
The minister attributed the sanctions imposed on Belarus and Russia, caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the impact of significant domestic inflation on global and in-country logistics and transportation of fertiliser raw materials as other factors for the fertilizer’s price increment.
According to him, the federal administration has negotiated a fixed price for Phosphate at $290/MT and a fixed discount of $15/MT for Potash from the governments of Morocco and Russia, which was purchased under the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) for four years between 2017 and 2020.