Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Finance minister revealed that the newly-launched $1 billion loan facility for farmers, under the Federal Government’s ‘Green Imperative’ scheme, will help create jobs and ensure food security in the country.
The minister, who disclosed this at the launch ceremony in Abuja, expressed optimism about the project, noting that she had no doubt that it will contribute immensely towards the transformation of the country’s economy.
According to Ahmed, “the positive results the loan will yield under the ‘green imperative’ initiative in the agricultural sector, will no doubt transform the country’s economic landscape. The project will be implemented with a total loan package of $1.1 billion majorly from the Brazilian government, which will be disbursed in four trenches over a period of years”.
She added that “I have no doubt that this project will help to ensure food self sufficiency, create more employment opportunities for our teeming population and also help transform the economic landscape of Nigeria”.
Ahmed explained that “the greater percentage of the loan will be provided in kind through the supply of agricultural machineries”. She said beneficiaries will receive agricultural equipment and perhaps seedlings, instead of cash loans. Also, the loan will be implemented “in the form of Completely Knocked-Down (CKD) parts”.
The minister disclosed that the ‘Green imperative’ scheme was designed to promote agricultural mechanization, create employment opportunities, whilst ultimately ensuring food self-sufficiency. She revealed that the implementation of the project will be purely private sector-led in all its operations, including the assembling of the machinery, operation of the service and agro-processing centers.