Uche Orji, chief executive officer of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, says massive fraud in the fertiliser subsidy programme has been eliminated since the introduction of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, PFI.
PFI was introduced in December 2016.
Speaking in Abuja, Orji who made this known over the weekend in Abuja, said the NSIA had invested heavily in the PFI which was implemented in partnership with the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, FEPSAN.
“In the past, the subsidy was a conduit where someone would sweep all the money and pretended to have imported fertiliser, when there was really nothing, but this PFI programme has changed it all,” he said.
“In one singular action, the fraud in the fertiliser distribution programme of the government has been eliminated from the system.
“This is the single biggest investment the NSIA has ever made, but I am glad to report that it has been successful.”
Enumerating some of the achievements of the initiative, the NSIA CEO made a case for public-private partnership, adding that it would contribute to the growth of the agricultural sector.
“We have sold the highest quantity of fertiliser ever distributed through a government programme. There is an abundance and it is cheap,” he said.
“Over 50,000 direct jobs and over 200,000 indirect jobs have been created in this country and these are significant values to the economy.
“We started with 12 blending plants but we want to get to 20 blending plants and from there to 30 blending plants, in which case it now becomes an industry of its own.
“My hope is that public-private partnership should get to a point whereby the private sector is also strong in itself, growing towards becoming self-sustaining.”