Nigeria’s anti-graft agency destroys 681 bags of adulterated fertilizer

* It’s an act of economic sabotage ─North-East Zonal Head

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

For its potential to destroy farm crops if the impure product is applied, the Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in Gombe State, has said it destroyed 681 bags of adulterated fertilizer in the state.

Agency report indicates prior to destruction of the contaminated fertilizer, Mr. Ibrahim Shazali, new North-East Zonal Head of EFCC, disclosed to journalists in that the destruction was carried out because adulteration of fertilizer is an act of economic sabotage.

The act hampered the efforts of the Nigerian Government at sustaining food security in the country, Shazali said.

According to him, such acts, if allowed to continue, would affect incomes of peasant farmers, who might unsuspectingly buy the contaminated fertilizer and end up not getting the desired value for their money.

The confiscated product had the presidential fertilizer initiative inscriptions on the bags, which would easily deceive people believe that the fertilizer was from the government, he stated.

The North-East Zonal Head of EFCC said: “They (convicts) print the bags, bring small part of fertilizer and bring in some limestone gotten from Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State, creating an impression that this is coming from the Nigerian Government.

“This is exactly where the sabotage comes from. So, even if the fertilizer has government tag on it, there is need for farmers to make proper inquiries to ascertain their source.”

He, therefore, warned the people engaging in fertilizer adulteration, that the anti-graft agency would arrest anyone involved such conduct, because the anti-graft agency had strengthened its surveillance mechanism to ensure perpetrators were put out of business.

“We are still extending our investigations to Kano and Katsina states,” Shazali said.

He cautioned farmers to always engage relevant agencies, such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) for product certification, before buying fertilizer from the markets, especially when buying in large quantities.

The EFCC said eight perpetrators of the adulteration had been convicted, based on charges of buying genuine fertilizer from recognised companies such as Indorama, Kasco, Tag Agro fertilizer, Albarka fertilizer, Nasara fertilizer, Golden fertilizer and Nigerian Government Fertilizer and mixed them with sand and sold them as genuine products to innocent farmers at same price, after they printed bags of original companies without authority.

It was established that the sand was almost more than two/third of the content of a particular bag, while the real fertilizer was not up to one/third in each bag.

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