THE Nigerian Government on Tuesday officially launched the new National Fertilizer Quality (Control) Act 2019 18 years after it was initiated.
This is even as it stated that violators of the Act would be made to face stiff penalties of not less than five years with no fine options.
The Act, which was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2019, does not allow unauthorized activities of manufacturers, blenders or importers and distributors of fertilizer.
Speaking at the public presentation of the Act on Tuesday in Abuja on, Professor Yemi Akinseye-George, a Nigerian professor of public law and president of the Center for Socio-Legal Studies, explained that the Act is targeted at safeguarding the interest of fertilizer enterprises and create an enabling environment for private sector investment in fertilizer.
It also prohibits operating with expired permit or certificate; the use of destructive ingredients or harmful properties; conversion or diversion of fertilizer; obstruction of authorized officers; and sale of unbranded or misbranded fertilizer.
While speaking on the violations, he said these include manufacturing, blending, importing or distributing deficient fertilizer, lacking in plant nutrients as specified in the First Schedule to the Act.
Others are the manufacturing, blending, importing or distribution of unbranded or misbranded fertilizer; dealing in adulterated fertilizer; offers for sale fertilizer that is underweight; selling condemned fertilizer, and diverting or converting fertilizer, or flouting a stop-sale order.
According to him, majority of the agro-input dealers are unregistered and operate without a license, with inadequate technical and entrepreneurial skills.