K156 billion fertilizer contract given to Namibian oil company


Fresh from revelations that the Lazarus Chakwera administration awarded a K500 billion fertilizer deal to a fake Romanian company, it has also been revealed that the government awarded a Namibian oil company a K156 billion contract to supply fertilizer.

A report published today by The Weekend Nation newspaper indicate that Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) signed a contract with Namibian firm Nendongo Commercial Group (NCG).

The contract SFFRFM signed with NGC indicates that government is procuring 200 000 metric tonnes (MT) of fertiliser from the Namibian company at the contract price of $150 million (about K156 billion).

The contract is split into two consignments of 100 000 MT of NPK (worth $85 million) and another 100 000 MT of Urea valued at $65 million.

The newspaper reports that the company offered SFFRFM $850 per tonne for NPK while the fertiliser company is procuring Urea at $650 per tonne.

The fertilizer was supposed to be delivered in Lilongwe within three months from the date of signing but it is not clear if this happened.

“SFFRFM chief executive officer Richard Chikunkhuzeni signed on behalf of Malawi Government while NCG managing director Jonas Nendongo signed on behalf of his company.

“The contract was signed in the presence of SFFRFM management accountant Joseph Butao and Collin Hangula, who is identified as head chemist for NCG,” The Weekend Nation reported.

The company’s online profile shows that it was established in 2018 and operates in oil and fish industry.

NCG’s products include marine oil, outboard oil, motor oil, ATF oil, hydraulic oil, gear oil, diesel engine oil, 4T&2T, brake fluids and grease which are supplied in southern Africa.

However, the company which is based in Windhoek does not mention anything to do with fertiliser or agricultural products.

When contacted by The Weekend Nation, NCG managing director referred the newspaper to the company’s local representative, Miguel Elias who refused to comment.

Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture through its chairperson Sameer Suleman has since expressed surprise that government entered the fertiliser deal without Parliament’s knowledge.

Suleman said the committee will summon SFFRFM officials to explain how the company was identified and if due diligence was done.

“These two contracts together give us close to a million tonnes of fertiliser and yet the country’s annual requirement is around 450 000 tonnes. What do they want to do with the rest of the fertiliser? Are we really going to have all this fertiliser or it’s a way of siphoning public money? We should not be surprised if we are sued because of these contracts. Where are we going to get all these monies to pay the suppliers without Parliament approving?” wondered Suleman.

On its part, the Anti-Corruption Bureau said though it approved the contract, it is also investigating the matter after receiving complaints.

Last week, it was revealed that government signed a K500 billion contract with Malawians disguised as Romanians operating a company registered in Romania.

Last year, the government sent K75 million to a butchery in the United Kingdom for the supply of fertilizer. The money is yet to be recovered.

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