About 500,000 tonnes of fertiliser needed to avert food crisis
Five vessels have offloaded 220,271 tonnes of bulk urea and ammonium nitrate at the Lagos ports between April and May, this year. Also, it was gathered that the country would take delivery of 105,000 metric tonnes of basic raw materials for the production of fertiliser from Canada and Russia this week.
At the Lagos Port Complex, Belhawk has discharged 30,000 tonnes; Daxia, 44,463 tonnes; Hinoki, 30,000 tonnes and Asian Pride, 10,000 tonnes. Also, AM Delta has offloaded some 808 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at Tincan Island Port in Lagos.
It was gathered that the vessels conveying the materials would berth on June 3, according to the Managing Director of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr Uche Orji. Orji added that some ships were already discharging fertiliser inputs at Onne Ports.
He disclosed that the fertiliser inputs were exempted from items sanctioned by the European Union against Russia. Among the items were potash and ammonium, which will come from both Russia and Canada.
He said: “Letters of Credit has been established for four vessels of phosphate. Two vessels are currently being discharged, the third vessel is currently on queue at the Onne port for discharge and the fourth vessel has been nominated. A vessel is currently discharging at the Intels port while the other is inbounded with ETA of May, 2022.
“In 2022, I know one question many of you are going to ask me is, potash difficulties because there were headlines about potash. It was true. There was potash difficulty. About 30 per cent of the world’s potash comes from Russia and Belarus.
“So, when the crisis started, there was a blockade, there were sanctions and all kinds of issues, and we couldn’t get potash. But now, I’m glad to report that we have solved the potash problem. On June 3, the first vessel will arrive from Russia.
On June 6, the second vessel will arrive from Canada. “The president gave us the instruction to go and solve it, find it wherever you can, bring it into the county. We will have enough potash between now and the middle of June for all our needs for the year.
Last year, we had enough to produce up to 40 per cent of the country’s need in inventory in the warehouses, so that’s coming out. Central bank is one of the big buyers, and they’re releasing it.”
It would be recalled that African Development Bank (AfDB) has resolved to source about 500,000 tonnes of fertiliser for West African countries by the end of August, 2022, as an emergency stopgap to avert food crisis. It was gathered that the fertiliser would be sourced from Nigeria, supplying 300,000 tonnes of urea, and Morocco, supplying 200,000 tonnes of phosphates and blended fertiliser.
The move is part of the bank’s announced allocation of $1.5 billion to shore up the continent’s food production and help with fertiliser due to the disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.
The bank said in a statement that there was a twomillion- tonne fertiliser supply gap across the continent. It has been meeting with chief executives of leading fertiliser companies in Africa and abroad to discuss fertiliser affordability, without confirming the volume sought.