By; MOHAMMED MUNIRAT NASIR, Gusau
The Executive Secretary Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF), Hajiya Fatima Umaru Shinkafi today in Casablanca Morocco signed a Cooperation Agreement with the OCP Africa Fertilizers for the development of Nigeria’s Phosphate Deposits.
Hajia Shinkafi signed on behalf of the federal government while Muhammad Hatititi, the Managing Director of OCP Africa Fertilizers Muhammad signed for the company.
A statement by S A Media and Public Relations, Bashir Kabiru Ahmad said the agreement is an extension to the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative of President Muhammad Buhari administration.
The SMDF executive Secretary explained that the SMDF has prioritised phosphate for solid minerals development in Nigeria due to presence of the reserves and its potential for direct application of Nigeria’s reactive phosphate on the nation’s acidic soil.
“Matching South Africa’s phosphate application rate will make Nigeria the largest phosphate fertilizer market size 10× that of South Africa valued at $260 million as Nigeria’s phosphate fertilizer application rate is 2kg/hectre a figure far below the world average application rate of 16kg/hectre and peer countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya averaging 13kg/hectre and 16kg/hectre respectively”, she said.
It could be recalled that recently, President Buhari directed the Solid Minerals Development Fund to drive the development of Nigeria’s phosphate and potash reserves as an extension to the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative as the SMDF was solely established in 2007 by the Federal Government through the 2007 Minerals and Mining Act to drive investments in Nigeria’s Mining Sector.
The SMDF which became fully operational under President Buhari administration had identified $500 million worth of investment in the mining sector which unlock $1.5 billion private sector capital.