The Nigerian government said that those who engage in fertilizer adulteration, both manufacturers, distributors and dealers are now liable to five years imprisonment without any option of fine.
The National Fertilizer Quality Control Act of 2019, that finally scaled through the legislative hurdles after many years, has enough provisions aimed at sanitizing the fertilizer subsector of agriculture.
” A person who commits any of the offences listed in section 18 or regulations made under this Act is liable on conviction, to a term of imprisonment of at least five years without option of fine”
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono who presented the Act officially to the public yesterday in Abuja, said that the Fertilizer Quality Control Act came at a critical time when Nigeria’s agriculture was in dire need of growth.
Nanono stated that government was working to ensure that all barriers to the country’s agricultural development was removed.
He also noted that over the years farmers in the country were subjected to nutrient-deficient and adulterated fertilizers as well as short-weight bags of fertilizers, due to the activities of some unpatriotic elements in the sector.
The Minister also assured that all provisions of the Act would be enforced to restore sanity to the fertilizer industry, as well as give farmers value for their money.
He further enjoined stakeholders to support the implementation of the Act .
“The Act has prescribed roles and responsibilities for the stakeholders in the public and private sector in order to ensure compliance/popular participation for the smooth and effective implementation of the Act to achieve sanity in the fertilizer industry “.
Earlier in his remarks, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mu’azu Abdulkadir, noted that government was giving the deserved attention to the fertilizer sector, because of the role it plays in agriculture development.
Abdulkadir said that ” Fertilizer is a crucial input in crop production and productivity. It is a key element in food security as its proper usage contributes in increasing yield and protecting land resources.
“Agriculture forms the engine of growth of Nigerian economy and the pillar of our national food security.
” The sector holds the key to rapid economy growth, wealth creation and poverty alleviation. It contributes about 21.2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as at 2018, 88% of Non-oil foreign exchange earnings, employs about 70% of the active labour force and provides raw materials for the agro-allied industrial sector”, Abdulkadir added.
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