The Federal Government is seeking the approval of the National Assembly for $1.2bn external borrowing from Brazil to finance agricultural programmes in the 2021 budget.
Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning, made the disclosure while defending her ministry’s 2021 budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance in Abuja on Tuesday.
She revealed that the Federal Government forwarded an approval request to the National Assembly for the loan from the Brazilian government to address issues in the agriculture value chain as Nigeria.
The minister also said the 100,000 hectares of land would be required 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.
Speaking in response to a question on diversification of the economy posed by Chairman of the committee, Mr James Faleke, the minister 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 also as Ahmed said Nigeria’s the total public debts would hit N38trn by December 2021.
She said, ”The total public debt stock comprising the External and Homes debts of the Federal and state governments and the Federal Capital Territory stood at N31.01trn (USD85.90 billion) as at June 30, 2020.
“It is projected, based on existing approval, to rise to N32.51 trillion by December 31, 2020 and N38.68 trillion by December 31,2021.”