The Federal Government is set to implement ‘The Green Imperative’ agricultural mechanization programme with a $1.1billion loan from the Brazilian government.
The Green Imperative is a Brazil – Nigeria bilateral project conceived to enhance the agricultural sector through the provision of modern machineries/ implements.
Speaking during the launching of the project by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said the project would be implemented with a $1.1billion loan package from the Brazilian Government.
“The project we are launching today will be implemented with a total loan package of US$1.1billion majorly from the Brazilian Government which will be disbursed in four tranches over a period of two years.
“It is pertinent to state here that greater percentage of the loan will be provided in kind through the supply of agricultural machineries and implements in form of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts.
“This arrangement is expected to reduce fiduciary risks and create more employment opportunities for our teeming youth and those that will be involved in assembling the machineries and implements,” she said.
She said the loan would be repaid through the proceeds from the projects, assuring that there was no cause for alarm.
“We are not unaware of the concerns of many Nigerians about obtaining external loan. Let me assure you that this project is designed to repay the loan facility through its proceeds. The repayment will not bring any fiscal burden on the tax payers,” she said.
She said that the implementation of the project will be purely private sector-led in all its operations including the assembling of the machineries/implements, operation of the service centres and the agro-processing centres.
“The project will be implemented in all the 774 Local Government Areas of the country in phases. Let me use this opportunity to sensitize the Nigerian private sector, youth and women to get ready for business.
“The selection of the participants in this project will be done on merit as our concern is nothing but the success of the project. We will ensure that participation is devoid of politics and any form of nepotism,” she said