Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday disclosed 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 made this disclosure in Abuja during the official launch ceremony for the project which was presided over by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo.
She expressed optimism about the project, stressing that she she had no doubt that it will contribute immensely towards the transformation of the country’s economy.
“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 $1.1billion majorly from the Brazilian government, which will be disbursed in four tranches over a period of two years,” the minister explained.
“l 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.” -Mrs Ahmed
Meanwhile, the loan will not necessary come in monetary form
The Minister also used the occasion to clarify that “the greater percentage of the loan will be provided in kind through the supply of agricultural machineries.” In other words, 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.”
Major aims of the Scheme
Mrs Ahmed then reiterated that the ‘Green imperative’ scheme was designed to promote agricultural mechanization, create employment opportunities, whilst ultimately ensuring food self-sufficiency.
She also disclosed that the implementation of the project will be purely private sector-led in all its operations, including the assembling of the machinery/implements, operation of the service and agro-processing centers.
“The project to involve the Nigerian private sector, youth and women will be implemented in all the 774 Local Government Areas of the country in phases, with the selection of the participants to be based on merit, devoid of politics and any form of nepotism.”
It is not clear when exactly the scheme will be open to the public for participation. But interested stakeholders can keep abreast by constantly checking information channels controlled by the appropriate Federal Government agencies.