IN a bid to end fertilizer importation in the country, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the OCP Group of Morocco have sealed a bouquet of agreements to boost fertilizer production for Nigerians farmers.

These initiatives involve securing local supplies of fertilizers at competitive prices, sharing real know-how in the development of local blending structures, promoting innovation and R&D efforts, strengthening local distribution channels and deepening the scope for extending existing agricultural systems.

The agreement was signed at the University Mohamed VI Polytechnic in Morocco by OCP Africa and the Nigerian delegation chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva.

A number of initiatives will be included in the collaboration including the intention of developing sustainable agriculture in Nigeria as well as helping farmers to improve their daily lives.

The project was first announced during the official visit to Morocco of President Muhammadu Buhari, and it is aimed at developing a versatile industrial platform in Nigeria.

This is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and one million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.

To achieve the set target, a number of agreements were signed between OCP Africa, the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority in order to commit to the second phase of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.

Similarly, a Shareholders’ Agreement was also signed between OCP Africa and the NSIA for the creation of the Joint Venture Company. This agreement would oversee the development of a versatile industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.

Also, during the visit, a Memorandum of Understanding between OCP Africa, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and NSIA was sealed. The objective of this pact is to evaluate the opportunity of an equity investment by the NNPC in the JVC and for its support on gas.

The visit also provided the Nigerian delegation with another opportunity to seal a Framework Agreement between OCP Africa, Mobil Producing Nigeria, the NNPC, the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria and the NSIA on gas supply for the industrial platform.

This is in addition to a Memorandum of Understanding that was sealed between OCP Africa, Akwa Ibom State Government and the NSIA on land acquisition, administrative facilitation and common agricultural development projects in Akwa Ibom State.

These agreements seek to provide Nigerian farmers with quality fertilizers adapted to the needs of their soil at competitive prices and produced locally.

Moreover, these pacts also aim at strengthening the solid partnership between OCP Group and the different institutions in the gas industry in Nigeria.

They are also expected to materialize the technical aspects of the industrial platform.

This industrial platform would also be leveraging Nigerian and Moroccan natural resources, namely the Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate.

The business visit is a follow-up to the industrial project which was officially launched in June 2018 following the success of the first phase of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative supported by OCP.

Through these agreements, the OCP Group has confirmed its commitment to the development of sustainable and inclusive agriculture in Nigeria.

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