Abuja – The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that the Federal Government is looking forward to a $1.2bn external borrowing from Brazil to finance agricultural programmes in the 2021 budget.
Mrs Ahmed, in defence of the budget proposed by her ministry Tuesday, before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance in Abuja, also revealed that a request for the loan approval has also been transmitted to the National Assembly.
The Finance minister also said the Federal Government would acquire 100,000 hectares of land in each State of the federation; for food production, adding that link roads would be built in such locations to connect farmers to markets and scale back post-harvest losses.
Mr James Faleke, Chairman of the committee, had asked the finance minister about diversification of the economy.
Reacting, 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.”
Giving updates on the 2020 budget implementation from January to September, Ahmed said, “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).”
Mazi Ozoemela Chikwas reporting, Obinwannem News