Thursday, August 4, 2016 6:41 pm
Nigerian Federal Government on Thursday accused two top companies, Notore Petrochemical and Indorama Eleme Petrochemical, of sabotaging the economy with export of fertilizer to the detriment of need for the product locally.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno, made this revelation when it met with the representatives of local manufacturers of fertilisers.
The visibly angered Security chief who did not entertain any refutation from the companies also read the riot act to any companies or individual engaged in economic sabotage of the country.
He said: “I must say at this point that the good will shown by the government of this country will not be taken for granted. The fact that we are in difficult and complicated situation in terms of our economy and security, does not mean that companies and individuals with vested interest will take the good will of this country for granted.
“The President came to power with specific mandate which is clear to all Nigerians and indeed the international community. We will view with very serious consequences whatever any company does to fall out of line and behave in a manner that will bring to its knee the economy of this country and indeed the security of this country.”
” Like I said we will not hesitate and is an action that will be taken with immediate effect. It is also important for us to also know that the local farmers are suffering in all communities all over the country,” he stressed.
Monguno added that ONSA and “the whole intelligence community discovered that the Improvised Explosive Devices (EIDs) being employed by the terrorists for their bombing campaigns were developed mainly from certain grades of fertilisers with particular reference to some nitrate based types including Urea Nitrate (synthesized from Urea)”.
He reminded that it was the discovery that the indiscriminate importation of these urea nitrate by all and sundry resulting into lack of control and ease their availability to the terrorists, militants and other mischievous elements for use to perpetuate insecurity that necessitated Federal government to license only the two companies to operate in the country.
He also noted that ONSA and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development facilitated necessary importation of raw materials and also secured distribution networks, which is “aimed at solving the national security problem on one hand by easing control of the items and on the other hand, boosting economy by encouraging local production”.
Against this backdrop, the NSA said that the cumulative annual production of the two companies is estimated at 2.05 million metric tonnes, while Nigeria’s estimated consumption rate is 1.1 million metric tonnes, which is 53 percent of production and “opportunity to cumulatively export about 47 percent of their production”.
Monguno however, noted that ONSA “has observed with total dismay some unpatriotic act and abuse of the goodwill of government”, saying that “reports of activities of these companies have indicated that about 71 percent of the 2.05 million tonnes cumulative annual production is being exported to the detriment of our national economy”.
According to him, this has resulted in a spike in the price of urea-based fertilisers in Nigeria with obvious implications on food security in the country.
“In view of the foregoing, I wish to categorically state that Government will continue to adhere to the rule of law. However, it must be noted that rule of law is not akin to anarchy. Accordingly, this office will not hesitate to close and withdraw the operating license of any company that exports products without first meeting local consumptions.
“This office and the Ministry (of Agriculture) will work to put in place measures to access production and determine exportable quantity by the respective companies. Please note that well-being of this country is a collective responsibility of all,” he said.