The Ethiopian Agricultural Businesses Corporation is finalizing the disposal of fertilizer inputs worth over half a billion birr, following the decision by the Parliament last year.
The unutilized inputs were procured since 2014, with a plan of supplying the inputs to the factories that were planned to be built in Ethiopia by the former Metal and Engineering Corporation (METEC).
Composed of inputs like potash, zinc, and boron, they were procured through the Corporation and four regional administrations (Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, and SNNPR), with the approval of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Corporation procured about 332,623 quintals of the inputs worth 567.8 million birr, while the four regions procured 152,778 quintals for 176.8 million birr, according to Kifle Woldemariam, the chief executive officer of the Corporation.
However, as the factories were unable to operate, the inputs were nearing expiration, with Members of Parliament (MPs) ordering their disposal through a standing committee last year.
“After their inspection, members of the Parliament’s standing committee recommended that it be removed,” Kifle told The Reporter. Following that, another bidding process took place for disposal to pick companies with the desire to take the inputs for their own use.
During the second effort to sell, the highest offer was 15 million birr for the 332,623 quintals of inputs purchased by the corporation and almost nine million for the 152,778 quintals brought in by the regions.
The Corporation would lose 552.8 million birr, while the regions incur 167.9 million birr loss.
Kifle’s office is wrapping up now with just 46,000 quintals left, but he does not know the disposal status of the regional states, he revealed.
With the Ministry of Agriculture responsible for the procurement of the inputs, the payment had not been reimbursed to the Corporation. The CEO revealed this in Parliament on January 11, 2023.
Pleading before the newly established State-Owned Enterprises Standing Committee, the CEO requested the committee’s help with several obstacles it is facing, mainly the burden on the corporation brought on by the loss.
“Why should we bear the loss while the one issuing the order is present?” he asked.