A few days ago, it was discovered that KASCO, a fertilizer company owned by Kano State was manually mixing the dangerous chemicals used to make fertilizer thereby exposing the workers to serious health risks.
Adultersting fertiliser has many potential harmful effects. It is capable of permanently compromising soil composition. It can also lead to lower yields thereby making farmers to lose value.
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In Nigeria, adulterating fertilizer is a punishable offence, according to the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act of 2019, and the terms of imprisonment ranges from 6 months of 2 years with options of fine ranging from N1 million to N2 million.
How can a company owned by the Kano state government be involved in adulterating the fertilizer it is selling to its citizens, especially knowing that if mixed wrongly, fertilizer can destroy the soil, destroy crops and lead to famine?
It is also known that manual handling of fertilizer blending may provide access to unauthorized people to some raw materials such as Urea ammonium nitrate that could be used for illegal purposes. In these days of insecurity in the north west, a state government should know better.
Urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), anhydrous ammonia, ammonium nitrate, diammonium phosphate (DAP), ammonium sulfate, monoammonium phosphate (MAP), and muriate of potash are ingredients commonly found in commercially blended fertilizers.
According to Wikipedia, Urea nitrate is a fertilizer-based high explosive that has been used in improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and various other terrorist acts elsewhere in the world, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. This is why the Federal Government, through the national Sovereign Wealth Authority, has exercised control of the chemicals to ensure they do not end up in the wrong hands.
So how would a governor that is battling COVID-19 also have a state-owned company adulterating fertilizer, thereby exposing his people to health risks? How can Kano explain to the world why they are allowing unauthorized people access to the dangerous chemicals used to make fertilizers, knowing the possibilities it could be used for?