By Omolola Pedro
The Farm Inputs Support Services Department (FISSD), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has vowed to clampdown on companies and individuals who adulterate fertilizers such that companies and individuals that adulterate fertilizers are to risk a 10 year jail term.
FarmingFarmersFarms reports that this piece of information was given during a one-day Capacity Building of Fertilizer Quality Control Inspectors across the 36 states of Nigeria, held at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The capacity building with the theme, ‘Zonal Sensitisation Training Workshop for Fertilizer Quality Control Inspectors and other Relevant Stakeholders’, had its focus on the promotion of organic fertilizer preparation and use at the local level using eco-friendly agricultural technologies by focusing on enforcement of provisions of the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act, 2019 and the Regulations, 2020.
The Director of FISSD, Kwaido Sani, represented by his Deputy, Ishaku Buba, explained that an inspector was selected from the 36 states of the federation to train participants on some specific new developments.
He noted that they had trained them before now, but as the world evolves, there was the need to evolve and utilise new innovations, to achieve quality and standardised practices and production.
“At times, it is not the issue of quantity, but it is the issue of quality. So, that is why we now have this National Fertilizer Quality Control Act so that anybody producing or distributing in Nigeria and distributed in line with the set standards in terms of quantity and quality. So, that is why we are here to enforce the provisions of the Act to ensure that anybody within the system produces what is required and is based on set standards. We also have another law covering the West African sub-region, of which Nigeria is a member and we have endorsed that any product produced in Nigeria; can be sold freely in West African countries. We are also tracking fertilizer production.
“Let us say for example, somebody got raw materials to produce 100,000 bags and based on our tracking mechanism, we track the source of raw materials, we will know the quantity that raw materials he or she has gotten can produce and if eventually, you produced excess, you did adulteration and it will be flagged; this person that got raw materials produced in excess of 200,000 bags, so we flag that system and our inspectors are there. We have what is called ‘Stop sale order or stop production’, we can seal the premises and start our investigations or you will be asked to face the wrath of the law, which is very severe. Our warning to adulterators is that time has passed where you can do whatever you want. Now the law is in place and the law is stringent, it does not respect who you are, as far as you are involved in any cases of adulteration, diversion and what have you, the law will take its course on you and it is very severe, it is up to 10 years imprisonment without option depending on the degree of the offense.
“And we have been circulating, we are being sensitised and we have given a deadline from the 1st of January, 2023. Once you don’t have our sales permit, or certificate of registration, you don’t operate in Nigeria, and we can detect in the event or somebody will want to fake it and there is no way you can fake it. We have asked all the security agencies working with our inspector to seal any premises that do not display a copy of its Certificate of Registration or sales permit. The Certificate of Registration is for the input producers, particularly, fertilizer and sales permit is for the distributors. So, once you get it you paste a copy and the barcode on it, our inspectors can verify what is genuine or not. From 1st January, 2023 now, except you are a new entrance, and if you are not a new entrance, once you want to register and you have been existing before you have to pay a late registration”, Buba explained further.