The Federal Government of Brazil will soon invest as much as $1.1 billion in Nigeria, the country’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Ricardo Guerra de Araujo, disclosed on Thursday.
The Ambassador stated that the deal will be finalised by the end of October this year, even as the fund will specifically be targeted at boosting Nigeria’s agriculture sector.
Mr Araujo made this disclosure while speaking at a dinner in Abuja to sensitise Nigerians ahead of an Agrictech event being organised by the Osun State Government.
The investment will help mechanise farming
The $1.1 billion will mainly be used to procure tractors which the Brazilian Government believes will help mechanise Nigeria’s agriculture, as well as boost overall productivity. This would, in turn, ensure food security and financial opportunities for farmers, the Ambassador said.
Note that the fund will come from the Brazilian Exim-Bank, while the Central Bank of Nigeria will coordinate the concessional resources needed. The financing deal has been designed to last for thirteen years, with a ten years repayment plan.
This partnership was an initiative of Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ambassador said. It is expected to help salvage Nigeria’s struggling Agric sector by ensuring efficient productivity, enhanced market accessibility, and the mitigation of climate-change related hazards.
The programme will also reduce hard labour and the stress that is typically associated with farming in Nigeria. In the same vein, it will help provide employment to Nigerians, especially the teaming unemployed youths of Nigeria.
“It will also keep the youth busy because they will be employed, and create development in the area where the plant is established.” -Araujo
With its large expanse of arable lands, Nigeria has a huge Agric potential which has not been fully explored. This is due to the unnecessary focus on oil. Efforts by the Federal Government to diversify the economy has yet to yield the needed result.
The Agric sector contributed only 22.86% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2018 according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, NBS.