The Federal Government has clamped down on makers of adulterated fertilisers in Kano State, in line with its commitment to ensure quality production of fertilisers and farm inputs to achieve food and nutrition security.
A team from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development led by the director, farm input support services department (FISSD), Mr. Kwaido Sanni, along with policemen and operatives of the State Security Services (DSS) sealed the outfits in Kano State.
The exercise which took place on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18, August 2022, in various local government areas of the state, was in fulfilment of the National Fertilizer Quality Control Regulations of 2020, Section 43, Sub-section 1 of the constitution, which empowers the FISSD to carry out stop-sale order on companies breaking the law on adulteration and sharp practices in the fertilisers’ sub-sector.
Sanni stated that the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act 2019 and Regulations 2020 would ensure that any individual engaged in the business must register with the FISSD and possess the requisite facilities to operate in the sector.
The director maintained that most fertiliser companies have refrained from engaging in the process because they know that they are unqualified. He said this was the reason for the clamp-down. He warned those engaged in the business to stop or face the wrath of the law.
During the inspection, the fertiliser quality control officer, FISSD, Mr. Sunday Oke observed the prevalence of adulterated/ fake fertiliser in the state and pointed out that samples of the fertiliser would be collected and taken to Abuja for laboratory analysis, to confirm compliance with the guaranteed analysis.
“If any individual wants to do business in the fertiliser sector, that individual must be registered under FISSD.
“This is a field operation, not targeted at arresting people unnecessarily but to try as much as possible to get the operators to comply with the provisions of the Act, to enable them to go back to their normal business.
“The team identified those shops, investigated and sealed them, to preserve the evidence found in those shops, making sure that we come back and tell them what they are not doing right and the violations,” Oke added.
He also observed that some fertilisers were re-bagged and called for the sealing of the fertiliser companies.
Speaking further, the fertiliser quality control officer revealed that the second day’s exercise targeted cases of diversion of government-procured raw materials. He noted that there is a provision of the Act that specifies that diversion of fertilisers is an offence.
“When we went to the market and saw raw materials procured by the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) being sold in the open market, we had to act. These things are not supposed to be sold.”
He disclosed that the fertilisers were meant for local NPK fertilisers’ blending plants in the country and revealed that it was a violation of the Act.
During the inspection, the leader of Yandusa Market, Kano, Alhaji Shehu Akarami, said he had been in the fertiliser business for 40 years and needed the Federal Government’s support in the area of grants to boost his business.
One of the defaulters, Khalid Mohammed of Sabon Gari Market, Kano, who owns the store where about 800 bags of the PFI fertilizers were discovered, said that he was unaware that the fertilisers could not be sold.
Members of the task force were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of State Security, Nigerian Police Force and the media.
A statement by the ministry’s director of information signed by Eremah Anthonia said the highlight of the inspection included the sealing of Al Barka Agro Allied & Chemicals Ltd., Zara Limawa, Kumboso LGA; Nagarta Agro Fertiliser, Zara town, Kumbotso LGA, Yendusa Market, Dogon-Gida Market, Singa Market, Sabon Gari LGAs, among others.