Agriculture

Nigeria to acquire $1.1b loan from Brazil to finance agricultural development

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The Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed has announced that the Federal Government is shopping for $1.1 billion to implement the Nigeria-Brazil Cooperation Project Agriculture “Green Imperative.”

Speaking at the inauguration of the project at the Old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, Ahmed said the chunk of facility will be provided by the Brazilian government.

She added that the launch of the project was part of moves by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to achieve a sustainable reposition and diversification of the economy.

According to the minister, the loan will be provided in kind through the supply of agricultural machineries and implements in form of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts.

She further explained that the project is designed to repay the loan facility through its proceeds, without bringing any fiscal burden on the taxpayers.

The minister said: “The project we are launching today will be implemented with a total loan package of $1.1 billion majorly from the Brazilian Government which will be disbursed in four tranches over a period of two years.

“It is pertinent to state here that greater percentage of the loan will be provided in kind through the supply of agricultural machineries and implements in form of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts.

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“This arrangement is expected to reduce fiduciary risks and create more employment opportunities for our teeming youth and those that will be involved in assembling the machineries and implements.

“Another important benefit of the project is that its implementation will be purely private sector led in all its operations including the assembling of the machineries/ implements, operation of the service centres and the agro-processing centres.”

She added that the project will be implemented in phases across all the 774 local government areas.

She called on the private sector operators, youths and women to brace for business as participants would be selected on merit.

“We will ensure that participation is devoid of politics and any form of nepotism,” she assured, explaining that the Buhari administration was not unaware of the desire of many Nigerians to obtain external loans.

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