Lagos Chamber calls for further expansion of local fertiliser production capacity to tackles inflation


The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for expansion of local fertilizer production capacity to reduce dependency on imports, enhance long-term sustainability, and curb rising inflationary trends.

The Chamber, in a statement signed by its Director General, Dr Chinyere Almona, on Wednesday, expressed grave concerns over the ‘seemingly ineffective interventions’ by the government, a development, it stated, had continued to pose a serious threat to the business community in Nigeria.

The Chamber stated that the unabated inflationary pressures have continued to distort the workings of the economy, making business and investment planning a huge challenge.

“In February 2024, food inflation soared to 37.92% year-on-year, driven notably by increases in prices of essential commodities such as bread, cereals, potatoes, yam, fish, oil, meat, fruits, coffee, tea, and cocoa. Such inflationary pressures exacerbate the already precarious living conditions for millions of Nigerians, amplifying social and economic vulnerabilities.

“The inflationary surge, particularly in food prices, poses a significant challenge to the economic well-being of Nigerians,” it argued.

It therefore called for more resources to be allocated for agricultural extension services, so as to provide technical assistance and training to farmers through their cooperatives on optimal fertilizer application techniques.

To effectively curb food inflation in the country, the business advocacy group also called for strong collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, State Ministries of Agriculture, agricultural extension services, research institutions, and farmer cooperatives.

“There is also the need to promote the integration of fertilizer distribution with other agricultural value chain interventions, such as improved seeds, irrigation, and post-harvest management, utilize information and communication technologies (ICTs) to disseminate agricultural advisory services, market information, and weather forecasts to farmers; while also empowering farmer cooperatives and associations to enable them to play a central role in the distribution and management of subsidized inputs and access to finance,” it stated.

While commending the apex bank, regarding fertilizer access to farmers across the country, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to reduce the burden of the high cost of fertilizers to them, it, however, counselled that more direct and targeted interventions should be focused on agricultural mechanization, the adoption of lower import duty exchange rates used for the import of agricultural input, and the establishment of more agro-industrial hubs across the country.