Insurgents’ interest in fertilizer may affect food production
• Rebels Want Item For Bomb making
Urea — a compound of fertilizer — a hitherto farmer-friendly item is now of greater interest to insurgents for its ammonium component, an ingredient for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), The Guardian, has learnt.
Security reports, according to reliable sources in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), raised fears that diversion of fertilizer to camp of insurgents, where it is incorporated in making bombs may affect food production in the country.
For this reason, the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) has assumed the clearinghouse for the importation of fertilizer into the country, especially urea and the attendant logistic operations.
Group Managing Director, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN), Mr. Paul Gbededo, a fertilizer expert and proponent of free market, said there are challenges, but the solutions and what is being done should be the focus.
Urea is a key component of fertilizer, and Notore and Indorama are the two companies that produce urea for the Nigerian market, but it is not enough yet. So, there is need for importation of the product, he said.
Gbededo added, “In order to have NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash), there is need for potash. However, due to the challenge of insurgency in the country, and criminals, the Federal Government and Security agencies are watching carefully how urea is being moved.”
The GMD said due to the need to import the product, “We have to apply to the Office of the National Security Adviser to get any type of fertilizer, including urea as is required for security reasons.”
Managing Director, Superphosphate Fertilizer and Chemical Industries Ltd., Danjuma Abdul-Kadiri said what is facing agriculture is much more fundamental than is being addressed. He wondered why urea, so important to growing food in the country, should take all the concentration, when petrol could be an active ingredient of making incendiaries.