- The federal government is seeking another loan despite criticisms over its continuous borrowing spree
- This time the government is approaching Brazil for an agricultural loan
- The loan is waiting for approval at the National Assembly at the moment
The federal government is seeking the National Assembly’s approval to access the $1.2 billion agricultural loan from Brazil.
This was disclosed by the minister of finance, budget, and national planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, when she appeared to defend the ministry’s 2021 budget before the House of Representatives’ committee on finance on Tuesday, November 3.
According to her, the federal government had forwarded the loan request to the National Assembly which is aimed at addressing issues in the agriculture value chain as Nigeria moves to make it another source of revenue.
She said the government was planning to acquire 100,000 hectares of land in each of the 36 states for food production.
She also added that roads would also be built in such locations to provide access for farmers to move their farm produce to markets in order to reduce post-harvest losses.
“For borrowing to improve the industry, we are before the parliament. I request the approval for the loan that we call the Green Imperative Programme which is for the loan of $ 1 . 2 bn from the Brazilian government.
“It is a programme that is addressing the whole of the agricultural value chain from mechanisation, production, processing and selling. It is meant to lend to businessmen for tractors, plants at all levels.”
Meanwhile, the total public debts of Nigeria is projected to hit N38trillion by December 31, 2021.
According to the minister, the total public debt stock comprising the external and home debts of the federal and state governments and the Federal Capital Territory stood at N31.01trn (USD85.90 billion) as of June 30, 2020.
In a related development, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Wednesday, September 30 warned that the country is on the verge of collapsing.
The CBCN in an address to mark Nigeria's 60th independence anniversary wondered how Nigerians can conveniently celebrate the occasion amidst huge borrowings with colossal interest to be paid back.
The group further lamented that presently, the country is servicing its huge debt with a significant revenue of the country.
In an address by Most Rev. Augustine O. Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin city and president of the CBCN, the Catholic Bishops said the rate of unemployment is growing, and there seems to be no clear plan to fix the economy as well as help the private sector to grow so youths can be employed.
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