The Federal Government, on Thursday, presented certificates of registration and sales permit to authorised fertiliser dealers in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mrs Modupe Olatunji, Information officer I, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, during the presentation of certificates said the Ministry trained and deployed to the 36 States and FCT, Fertiliser and Agricultural Pesticides Quality Control Inspectors.
He said the inspectors are currently working with relevant security agencies to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act and Regulations, in order to protect the farmers and the industries.
Umakhihe, represented by Mrs Fausat Lawal, Director of Special Duties in the ministry, said the non-licensed operators are not allowed to produce, blend, import, market or distribute fertilisers in the country.
He urged the suppliers to ensure that only licensed agro-dealers were allowed to buy their products, and to abide strictly and operate within the provisions of the fertiliser Act and the implementing regulations.
Umakhihe said that a grace period of two months has been granted for those who have not obtained their permit as failure to do so would have their facilities sealed off with resultant prosecution.
He said that the Act required that upon fulfilment of all required conditions, fertiliser suppliers, manufacturers/producers, blenders and importers would be issued with the Certificate of Registration.
The permanent secretary said while agro-dealers (distributors) that fulfilled the same will be issued with the sales permit.
Umakhihe said it should also be displayed in a strategic area of their facilities, adding that the National Fertiliser Quality Control (NFQC) Act was in the process of repealing to accommodate agricultural pesticides in the Act.
He explained that the essence was to consolidate and expand the Act, curtail the effect of contaminated foods and address the blending of adulterated fertilisers for the interest of farmers, genuine operators and the protection of environment.
Umakhihe commended the Federal Government for the National Fertiliser Quality Control Act signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
He said that the act required that all companies that would operate in Nigeria must be registered and get the certificate of registration and sales permit from the implementing authority.
The Director, Farm Inputs Support Services Department, Kwaido Sanni, said the Act and Regulations were not intended to create a stumbling block to the operators’ business but to protect the genuine entrepreneurs, the farmers, the environment and the entire citizenry from both economic and human losses.
Sanni was represented by the Deputy Director, Farm inputs, Ishaku Buba.