Abdullahi Adamu, Chairman , Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, has said that the passage of the Fertiliser Quality Control Bill provided a legal backing and regulatory framework that align with the ECOWAS Fertiliser Law.
Adamu said this at the public presentation of the national Fertiliser Quality Control Act 2019 on Tuesday in Abuja.
“As part of the implementation of the Common Regional Agricultural Policy, ECOWAS has developed a regional regulatory document known as ECOWAS Regulations C/REC.13/12/12 relating to Fertiliser Quality Control in the region.
“It also established a Regional Committee on Fertiliser Control and Labelling. Both initiatives are intended to encourage the harmonisation of regulatory systems across West Africa. Nigeria is signatory to this regulation and therefore is required to lead the implementation.
“As recommended by my committee the passage of the fertiliser bill and signing into law has domesticated the regional regulation into our national law, thereby providing a legal backing and regulatory framework which will align with the ECOWAS Fertilizer Law,”he said.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the quick assent of the bill.
The chairman also commended the leadership of National Assembly, committees and the Clerks for all the legislative actions and processes.
He also appreciated the efforts of all stakeholders that had contributed to the actualisation of the age-long dream of establishing a fertiliser regulatory system for the country. .
Adamu said that over the years, the nation’s agriculture has been bedeviled with a lot of challenges bordering on availability of quality inputs, most especially fertilisers for crop production.
“The Nigerian fertiliser market was filled with all manner of low quality fertilisers ranging from fake, adulterated to underweight fertiliser bags.
“The fertiliser vendors were having their field days as there was no legal backing to checkmate their activities;
“The activities of the fake fertiliser operators greatly affected the investments of the genuine fertiliser businessmen, thereby dampening the rate of real investment in the Nigerian fertiliser industry.
”Invariably, farmers were being shortchanged as they were made to pay for nutrients which were not present in the fertiliser bags purchased.
“The implication was that agricultural productivity was on the decline due to the poor state of our soils as a result of years of continuous cultivation leading to nutrient mining.
“In the face of the above, when the Fertiliser Bill got to the Senate, the Senate Committee on Agriculture worked assiduously and ensured the passage of this Act before the end of the 8th National Assembly,” he said.
The chairman noted that at the moment the nation had an efficient fertiliser regulatory system that would ensure that the right kind and quality of fertilisers are sold to farmers at good prices.
He added that through this measure while small scale farmers achieve higher crop yields, the environment would not also be negatively impacted.
Adamu described the Act as a great responsibility of trust that would require wisdom, sense of dedication and proactiveness for smooth and effective implementation.
“I am confident that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development will provide required resources.
“Such resources will ensure the full implementation of the Act to the benefit and interest of farmers, fertiliser enterprises.
“It will protect the Nigerian natural environment and its people against the potential danger associated with inappropriate fertiliser use and facilitate fertiliser trade across the 36 states and the FCT and the West African neighbors, “he said. (NAN)