The People’s Republic of China has said it will lend Nigeria $4.5 billion to boost local agriculture. The loan is to enable Nigeria purchase farming tools including tractors, bulldozers, graders, irrigation pumps, amongst others.
An agreement has been signed to engage all the states, including the FCT, from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, in the procurement of strategic machinery for rural development and agriculture – tractors, bulldozers, graders, irrigation pumps, tarsiers and so on from China. The Chinese were willing to supply these things for a long term basis,; 20 years credit at an interest rate of 1 percent per annum.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbe, of all the partners Nigeria has, the Chinese have shown the willingness to see the country out of its problems, because about 30 years ago they were in the same crisis. They see Nigeria as a people in the same circumstances that they were then and they are willing to help Nigeria get out of it.
Agric Mechanisation is an identified effective way to diversify the Nigerian economy in order to encourage the youth to invest in agriculture.
Mr. Yari said the government is making a huge progress with the partnership, adding that China is coming first to support the country.
“The president has given us his commitment and also asked us to engage the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the CBN to conclude and then the Minister of Agriculture will make presentation to council, then to the national assembly for final approval,” he added.