The Federal Government is seeking a fresh $1.2 billion external loan from Brazil to finance agricultural programmes in the 2021 budget.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed disclosed this on Tuesday at the budget defence session opened by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt at the National Assembly, Abuja.
She that the Federal Government has sent a request to the National Assembly to approve the loan from the Brazilian government to address issues in the agriculture value chain in Nigeria.
According to her, the government would acquire 100,000 hectares of land in each state for food production, adding that link roads would be built in such locations to provide access for farmers to move farm produce to markets and reduce post-harvest losses.
When the chairman of the committee, Mr James Faleke, had asked the finance minister about diversification of the economy, she said:
“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.
“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.”
This is coming after the Minster, Zainab Ahmed, revealed that Nigeria’s public debt stock is projected to rise to N38.68 trillion by December 31, 2021.