As an extension to the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, the Solid Minerals Development Fund and OCP Group have signed a technical co-operation agreement to mine and develop Nigeria’s phosphate reserves located in the Sokoto Basin. SMDF and OCP will leverage on their mutual capabilities, technical know-how, engineering capabilities, experience, and make use of the expertise of their longstanding partners to develop Nigeria’s phosphate reserves.
The Agreement covers the following areas (i) technical cooperation in the field of phosphates, (ii) support of SMDF effort to develop phosphate mining in Nigeria, and (iii) training and academic exchanges.
The Solid Minerals Development Fund has prioritized phosphate for solid minerals development in Nigeria due to a presence of reserves and the potential for direct application of Nigeria’s reactive phosphate on the country’s acidic soil. Matching South Africa’s phosphate application rate will make Nigeria the biggest phosphate fertilizer market in Africa with a market size 10x that of South Africa valued at $260 million. Nigeria’s phosphate fertilizer application rate is 2kg/hectare, a figure far below the world average application rate of 16 kg/hectare and peer countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya averaging 13kg/hectare and 19kg/hectare respectively.
His Excellency, the President recently directed the Solid Minerals Development Fund to drive the development of Nigeria’s phosphate and potash reserves as an extension of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative. The Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) is a Government owned fund established to drive investments in Nigeria’s mining sector. The Fund was established in 2007 by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the 2007 Minerals and Mining Act it wasn’t operationalized till the President Buhari Administration. The Fund has identified $500 million worth of investments in the mining sector that can unlock a further $1.5 billion private sector capital.