Buhari to borrow another $1.2bn from Brazil for agriculture

Nigeria will borrow $1.2 billion from Brazil to fund various agricultural schemes next year, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed told the House of Representatives at a budget defence session on Tuesday.

The borrowing plan, which is currently awaiting legislative nod at the National Assembly, would resolve a number of impediments in the agriculture value chain and provide credit for the acquisition of farm equipment, Ms Ahmed added.

Government is also looking to procure 100,000 hectares of land in each of the thirty six states towards food production and build link roads to connect farmers to markets and scale back post-harvest losses.

“For borrowing to improve industry, we are before the parliament. I request for the approval for loan that we call the Green Imperative Programme which is for loan of $1.2bn from the Brazilian government,” the minister told the House of Representatives Committee on Finance

“It is a programme that is addressing the whole of agricultural value chain from mechanisation, production, processing and selling. It is meant to lend to businessmen for tractors, plants at all levels.”

She denounced the exclusion of the 3,050 Mambilla power project from the 2021 budget by Mamman Saleh, the minister of power, going further to say no provision was made for such in the spending plan submitted to her ministry by the power minister.

According to her, the executive arm might send a supplementary budget to the National Assembly to accommodate new salaries in the current reform of the Nigerian Police Force.