Food Security: FG writes National Assembly * Seeks approval of $1.2bn loan for agriculture * Says project will create over 5million jobs

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Food Security: FG writes National Assembly

* Seeks approval of $1.2bn loan for agriculture

* Says project will create over 5million jobs

By Joel ThankGod (Abuja):

In order to ensure food security in Nigeria, the Federal Government is seeking approval of the National Assembly for a loan of $1.2 billion, to boost production in agricultural sector of the economy.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known yesterday in Abuja, saying that the Federal Government has officially written to National Assembly (NASS), for its approval to secure the loan.

Information Minister explained that the
agricultural loan is coming from Brazil and Deutsche Bank, and will be adequately utilised for agricultural mechanisation in the country.

Speaking further, he pointed out that the $1.2 billion loan when approved by NASS, will be used to set up agricultural mechanisation centres across 632 local governments in Nigeria.

His assertions; “This same loan agreement has been signed by the two countries since 2017.

“The $1.2 billion loan will be deployed under ‘Green Imperative Programme’. It is a Nigeria – Brazil Bilateral Agriculture Development Programme, which will be implemented in a period of 5 to 10 years.

“Also more funding will come from Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank, while insurance will be provided by Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF), as well as Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), under coordination of
Getúlio Vargas Foundation.”

The Minister emphasised, “This programme is one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s initiatives to attract our youths to agriculture

“It is a specific loan coming to Nigeria and most of the loans will go to manufacturers of knocked down components. With this loan, those who will produce the knocked down items will be paid directly and it will create more jobs.

“This programme will lead to reactivation of six motor assembly plants in six-geopolitical zones of the country, for assemblying tractors, as well as other equipment.

“This programme will also lead to establishment of 142 agro-processing service centres for value addition.  Each centre will be located in each senatorial district with establishment of 632 mechanisation service centres to support primary production in 774 local government areas, including the Federal Capital Territory.

“It will create 774 service centers nation-wide to mechanise our farming methods and process produce locally, leading to efficiency while eliminating post-harvest losses.

“The Private sector operators will manage all the service centres and  assembly plants.

“It will create over 5million jobs and inject more than $10 billion into the economy within 10 years”.

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