NCZ under pressure to award fertiliser contract to friends to govt officials

There is a deliberate effort to frustrate the production of fertilizer at the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) and a delay in the distribution of farming inputs next farming season may be unavoidable.

Some senior government officials and well known businessmen want the tender offered to five companies for the supply of raw materials cancelled to delay production and give room to some suppliers with stockpiles of fertilizer.

Sources from the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) have revealed that some senior government officials have been exerting pressure on the tender committee as some companies that had stocks of Compound ‘D’ from the last farming season are allegedly frustrating the efforts of NCZ to meet its target by August.

The NCZ is expected to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of Compound ‘D’ from the raw materials that were being supplied by the five companies.

The source said five of the 16 companies that bid for the tender to supply of raw materials were successful and were awarded the contract to supply Muriate of Potash (MOP), Mono-Ammonia Phosphate (MAP) and Ammonia Sulphate (AMSUL).

“We are aware that all these cancellations are done to frustrate the work of the NCZ and as management we are confident that at the pace we are moving the company will be able to meet its target of 100,000 metric tons.  There are interested parties that were left successful with the bid and other people also that want to frustrate the production but our worry is that all this will delay the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

“The 16 companies that bid for the supply of raw materials were Nyiombo investment (Zambia), Ultratek suppliers, Zambian Fertilizer, Innofert, ETC-Adibose L/A (Mozambique), Export Trading company (ETG), Neria investments ltd, Foskor (SA), Commodity Trading International EZC cup, Quality commodity (LSK), OLAM international, Profert, Bosveld Phosphates (SA) , Gavillion, Bakaya link field invst.KYU-ZU, Nyiombo investment (Zimbabwe),” the official revealed.

The sources further said that the tender committee scrutinized all the bids and five companies that included Ultratek suppliers, Zambian Fertilizer, Neria investments ltd, Foskor (SA), Bosveld Phosphates (SA) were awarded the tender to supply the raw materials in compliance with set criteria and material specification.

The officials said the matter if not carefully handled would make it impossible for NCZ to produce the required target of compound D fertilizer as the people behind the scheme wanted to benefit from the supply of fertilizer.

“We know that some companies still has got a lot of compound D fertilizer in the country which could not be sold last farming season and they want to take advantage of this and make NCZ fail because they want to sell their fertilizer to government under the FISP,” the source said.

The official however, said the contract for the five suppliers had not yet been cancelled and they have continued supplying the NCZ with the required raw materials.