- The federal government has said that it will borrow the sum of $1.1 billion loan from Brazil
- The minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, said that the fund will be to boost agricultural mechanisation in the country
- The minister said that the entire operations of the mechanisation project will be supervised by the private sector
In an effort to implement the 'Green Imperative' agricultural mechanisation scheme, the federal government has started making moves to get a $1.1billion loan from the Brazilian government.
The Green Imperative is a Brazil-Nigeria bilateral project organised to aid the sector through the provision of modern technology, Daily Trust reports.
The minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, speaking during the launch of the project by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the project will need that much fund from the south American government to finance it.
The project we are launching today will be implemented with a total loan package of US$1.1billion 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.
“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,” she said.
She said the loan would be repaid through the proceeds from the projects, assuring that there was no cause for alarm.
“We are not unaware of the concerns of many Nigerians about obtaining external loan. Let me assure you that this project is designed to repay the loan facility through its proceeds. The repayment will not bring any fiscal burden on the taxpayers,” she said.
The minister said that the implementation, operations, the assembling of the machineries/implements, operation of the service centres and the agro-processing centres of the project will be overrun by the private sector.
“The project will be implemented in all the 774 Local Government Areas of the country in phases. Let me use this opportunity to sensitize the Nigerian private sector, youth and women to get ready for business.
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“The selection of the participants in this project will be done on merit as our concern is nothing but the success of the project. We will ensure that participation is devoid of politics and any form of nepotism,” she said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, had said that the federal government had released not less than N100 billion sourced from the Sukuk bond in December 2018, for 28 road projects throughout the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Zainab, handing over the cheque to the ministry of power, works and housing, said that the proceeds would be used to further support government capital spending for 2018, adding that each zone will get a fixed and equal allocation of N16.67bn.
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