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NSCDC parades Manufacturers of adulterated fertilizer in Ebonyi

By Mbam Ogodo, Abakaliki
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At least three suspects who specialize in manufacturing of fake and adulterated fertilizer have been paraded by the Command Headquarters of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, in Abakaliki.

Parading the suspects before Newsmen, State Commandant, Lucy Samu who was represented by the Command's PRO, Mr Paul Odimba said they were arrested at Hosanna motor park in Abakaliki with the Fertilizers.

Mr Odimba also said that the suspects were arrested in connection with 101 bags of adulterated fertilizer in the state after a tip-off.

“They sell such adulterated products to unsuspecting members of the public and the arrest is in line with the Corps’mandate of protecting lives and public infrastructure in the country.

"The Command assures the public that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and the culprits alongside their sponsors prosecuted according to law,”.

Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Fertilizer Development, Mrs. Emerald Ude-Akaji explained that the suspects violated the law recently accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on fertilizer adulteration and distribution.

Ude-Akaji who is also the Acting General Manager of Ebonyi Fertilizer and Chemical Company, said that the Governor ‘stepped down’ the law by directing her to ‘constitute’ a taskforce to check fertilizer adulteration in the State.

Ebonyi is the only state in the South East geopolitical zone that has a fertilizer blending company and subsequently supplies the product to states in the zone.

“The task-force, is therefore, empowered to ‘fish out’ individuals who adulterate fertilizers in the zone and the arrest will make the public know that such adulterated products do not come from us."

The Governor’s aide said that genuine fertilizer products must have four components: Diamonous Phosphate (DAP), Mornate of Potash (MOP) urea and limestone.

“The fertilizers seized from the suspects only contain urea and limestone and this will have adverse effects on the crop yield of farmers. When farmers use such product on their crops, it will deceptively appear greenish and fresh but will never yield fruits."

She noted that the products were packaged under the name of Golden Fertilizer, so that it can be sold at the same price with the genuine Golden Fertilizer.

“I and the producers of Golden Fertilizer are members of the Fertilizer Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) and we know that Golden Fertilizer has not produced the 27; 13; 13 brand of the product for long,”.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the State Fertilizer Adulteration Taskforce, Mr Vincent Uguru assured farmers, especially the Agro Dealers, that it would unearth the Manufacturers of the fake fertilizers so as to rid the State and zone of such unwholesome practice.