In a bid to ensure that quality fertilizer is accessed by farmers, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Abdulkadir Mu’azu, has reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment towards implementing the National Fertilizer Quality Control (NFQC) Act 2019 by ensuring that a fertilizer regulatory system is in place.
This was disclosed in a statement on Wednesday by Ezeaja Ikemefuna for the director of information for the ministry.
According to the statement, the initiative would increase agricultural productivity towards national food security.
Speaking during the operationalization of the NFQC Act meeting held at Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja on Tuesday evening, Mr Mu’azu stated that the policy would safeguard the interest of the farmers against nutrient deficiencies, adulteration, misleading claims, and short weight.
He noted that ‘’it will also safeguard interests of fertilizers enterprises, thereby creating part of the enabling environment for private sector investment in the fertilizer industry and protect the environment against potential dangers that may result from the use of harmful substances in fertilizer.”
“The ministry has however been unrelenting in the bid to set in motion the enforcement of the Fertilizer Act and accordingly developed regulations for its implementation which has been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Justice for review by legal draftsmen and subsequent gazetting,’’ he said.
According to him, “in the implementing regulations are the steps, processes, procedures and guidelines for effective enforcement of the NFQC Act’’.
“The ministry has listed the services/activities necessary for the enforcement of the Act and is, therefore, proposing fees, tariffs and charges that will be prescribed for the various services to be rendered for consideration and adoption’’.
He said “this meeting is being convened to enable us to holistically examine the proposed charges/fees.
“In our deliberations, the above key objectives must be put into utmost consideration and none of it should be compromised,’’ he said.
In his presentation on key areas of the NFQC Act and the regulations, Yemi Akinseye-George said, “the federal government and relevant stakeholders of the fertilizers industry have taken the bull by the horn by enacting a robust legal framework for quality control in the country.”
Mr Akinseye-George urged that “all hands must be on deck to ensure full implementation of the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019.”
In his introductory remarks, director, Department of Farm Inputs Support Services in the ministry, Tunde Bello, stated that “the meeting will address the critical issues relating to operationalization of the NFQC Act 2019, particularly issue of charges and the regulation of the manufacture, importation, distribution, sales and quality of fertilizers in Nigeria.”
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