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Buhari orders EFCC to go after fertilizer racketeers



President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to go after individuals selling the NPK fertilizers above the approved prices.

The Managing Director of the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, disclosed this at the weekly ministerial briefing organized by the Presidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

While responding to questions on whether the Federal Government has put in place any mechanism to monitor pricing and distribution of fertilizer all over the country, the NSIA chief said the President had directed the EFCC to go after the fertilizer racketeers and bring them to book.

There were reports that some individuals, particularly in the South-East sold the fertilizers including the MOP and NPK products above the government recommended prices in the region.

Orji said: “Let me speak to something very quickly. You talk about MOP. You are not supposed to buy MOP from us. We do NPK 20 1010. So anybody that does not buy an NPK 20 1010 is buying a specialized product.

“NPK 20 1010 was recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture as the base product for all Nigerian farmers. Any other blend, any other mix is not what we produce.

” So I can only speak on NPK 20 1010, which was designed as a core product for fertilizer across the country. So if you’re doing something special and you need something different, that’s a whole different conversation between you and whoever is telling you to import.

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“But there is a whistleblower’s number that is monitored by fertilizer producer supply association of Nigeria. You should call them we used to monitor those but since we have added it to the industry, the industry is now in charge of ensuring that there’s no racketeering.

“So if you have one or two areas where people are doing racketeering do let us know. But in the main, we monitor what is going on in the industry. This is because our job now is on raw materials, but we make sure that it’s not being abused.

“And so if that is happening, let us know, report to FEFSON, I believe on the bag of fertilizer, there should be a whistleblower’s number to report that somebody is racketeering.

“But also, be very careful about anybody who’s trying to adulterate or do things like that. I was very pleased to see what Ebonyi State did two days ago, they rounded up some people who are trying to do things like that.

“This is not right, the President took a lot of personal initiative in negotiating discounts with Morocco and Russia to bring the raw materials we don’t have. It is not for one or two persons to try and racketeer, that will be regarded as economic sabotage.

“And let me also remind you all that the President has ordered EFCC to look into these things. So clear directive, so please report any sabotage because the EFCC has been directed and mandated to make sure that they are actually investigating these matters.”

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