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Federal Government to borrow $1.2 billion from Brazil – Finance Minister



The Minster of Finance Zainab Ahmed, has revealed that the Federal Government is seeking a $1.2bn external borrowing from Brazil to finance agricultural programmes in the 2021 budget.

Zainab Ahmed, revealed this when she appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance in Abuja on Tuesday to defend the budget proposed by her ministry.

Ahmed said that the Federal Government has sent a request to the National Assembly for the approval of $1.2bn loan from the Brazilian government to address issues in the agriculture value chain in Nigeria.

She also said the Federal Government would acquire 100,000 hectares of land in each state for food production, adding that link roads would be built in such locations to provide access for easy transportation of goods produced.

The chairman of the committee, Mr James Faleke, had asked the finance minister about diversification of the economy.

Responding, Ahmed 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.”

Zainab in response to why the 3,050MW Mambilla power project was not captured in the 2021 budget, said that Minister of Power, Sale Mamman did not include the project in the submission made to her ministry regarding the 2021 budget.

In terms of police reform, the finance minister also told the committee that the executive might forward a supplementary budget to the National Assembly to provide for new salaries.

“As of the end of Q3 2020, FGN’s revenue available for budget funding (excluding GOES) was N2.83tn, 70 per cent of target.

“FGN share of oil revenues was N1.20tn (representing 158 per cent performance, over and above the prorated sum in the revised 2020 budget) while non-oil tax revenues totalled N927.47bn (76 per cent of revised target).” Ahmed said, in response to the 2020 budget implementation from January to September.

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