The federal government of Nigeria, through the Zamfara State Government under the administration of Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, disclosed that the Republic of China had offered a credit facility in the amount of $4.5bn for Nigeria to diversify its economic into improving agriculture economy in the country.
At Government State House, the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari with the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh while briefing the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari on the development at the Presidential Villa, Abuja disclosed the facility that following President Buhari’s visit to China, Nigerian officials engaged the Chinese government, who showed willingness to support agricultural economics in the country.
That “They are giving us a credit line of $4.5bn, which will cover the machineries and infrastructure that is rural earth dams, irrigation and the loan has a 20-year repayment term with five years’ moratorium.
“Initially, we started negotiations to drop the counterpart funding of 25 per cent, but understanding the economy of Nigeria, we negotiated to give a counterpart funding of 10 per cent, which we believe Nigeria can do and we are targeting the Natural Resources Fund for the counterpart funding.
“We are now speaking with the Chinese group and the Nigerian governors and the technical committee that was set up by the minister and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. So we have now come to a stage where the President needs to come in so that he can give us a leadership role and a kind of approval of a certain level so that we can forge ahead.”
Zamfara Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari said the government was making progress in the partnership with the Republic of China.
That the President Muhammadu Buhari had reaffirmed his loyal commitment and urge the governors Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari to engage the Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Central Bank of Nigeria to conclude and then the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh would make a presentation to the Federal Executive Council, then to the National Assembly for final approval.
Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh further reviewed that during the President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to China, an agreement was executed for all the states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to procure strategic machinery for rural development and agriculture empowerment.
That “The Chinese were willing to supply us these machine on a long-term basis, 20 years’ credit at an interest rate of one per cent per annum.
“A committee has been working on the matter and we are close to sorting out all the small details, and that is why we came to see the President.”
The government further reassured Nigerians to take the opportunity offer by agricultural sector.