$1.2bn Agric loan

Nigeria: FG seeks NASS approval for $1.2bn agric loan

The Federal Government has written the National Assembly, seeking its approval for $1.2 billion agricultural loan from Brazil and Deutsche Bank; to set up mechanisation service centres in 632 local governments of the federation.

The $1.2 billion loan would be deployed under The Green Imperative programme, which is a Nigeria-Brazil Bilateral Agriculture Development Programme.

The programme would be implemented over a period of five to 10 years, with funding from the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank; with insurance provided by Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF) and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and coordinated by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV).

The loan agreement has been signed by the two countries; since 2017.

The programme, said Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and his counterpart in Agriculture and Rural Development, Sani Nanono, during a joint press conference in Abuja, yesterday, would essentially be private sector-driven.

Mohammed also explained that the programme “is one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s initiatives to attract our younger ones into farming.

“This is a specific loan. It is coming to Nigeria and most of the loans would go to manufacturers of the knocked down components.

It’s a loan in kind whereby those who would produce the knocked down items would be paid directly.

“When it comes into Nigeria, it would create more jobs and reach more small time farmers. “The programme will lead to the following: Reactivation of six motor assembly plants in the six-geopolitical zones of the country for assemblying tractors and other implements.

“The programme will import the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of about 5,000 tractors and numerous implements (for local assembly) annually for a period of 10 years.

“(The programme would lead to the) establishment of 142 agro-processing service centres for value addition, with one centre in each senatorial district, establishment of 632 mechanization service centres to support primary production in the 774 local government areas and the Federal Capital Territory.