President Yemi Osinbajo has identified the problem with optimizing agriculture in Nigeria as the lack of access to input, fertilizer being a major one.
Osinbajo made this assertion on Tuesday in Edo State at the commissioning of the Edo State Fertilizer and Chemical Company Limited NPK Fertilizer Plant.
According to him, on the average, a Nigerian farmer uses 13kg per hectare of fertilizer compared with world average of 100kg per hectare.
He said it was in recognition of the importance of the inputs that the federal government negotiated an initiative with Moroccan King in order to increase the production of fertilizer.
His words: “This explains why Mr. President negotiated the December 2016 Fertilizer initiative, working with the Moroccan King, aimed at achieving local production of 1 million metric tons of NPK fertilizer for 2017 wet season farming.
“Reducing costs and delivering finished products at N5000-5500 per bag (formerly between N8-9,000 sometimes N13,000).
“This, again, is an enterprise that will create at least 500 direct jobs and several more indirect jobs. It will bring us closer to self-sufficiency in fertilizer production and, perhaps most importantly, boost food production and reduce food prices, ultimately enhancing food security in Nigeria.”
Also, commending the Edo State government over the fertilizer plant which he commissioned, he said the project would in addition to boosting local economy help the national economy to improve.
“I must therefore hasten to congratulate the dynamic and far-sighted Governor, as well as the great people of Edo State, on this great achievement. Not only will this boost the local economy, it will also impact the national economy in a significant way. It is therefore a gift from Edo State to our great country,” he said.
He added that the Buhari administration took private enterprise very seriously and in order to create a conducive environment, had worked to make things easy for them.
Said he: “It is the private sector that can do so. We are therefore committed to making it easy for businessmen to invest and do business everywhere in Nigeria.
“This accounts for the Presidential Enabling Business Council set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the work of which was fortified by the Executive Order No. 1, which I executed on May 18, 2017, on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment and facilitation of the ease of doing business.
“This efficiency and transparency drive is not a challenge to the Federal Government and its officials alone.
“Every State and Local Government must be involved in the effort to ensure that private businesses thrive and create employment opportunity for our growing youth population.”
He expressed his confidence that by harnessing private capital and the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians, resources could be used positively and accelerate economic development.