FG secures N32b World Bank loan for agriculture

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday approved the nation’s bid for a loan of $200 million (N32 billion) from the International Development Association, an arm of the World Bank, for Fadama III agriculture projects in six states of the federation.
According to Dr. Yerima Ngama, Minister of State, Finance, the aim is “to increase the incomes for users of rural lands and water resources within the Fadama areas in a sustainable manner” that will involve information and communication support, advisory services, site and on-farm demonstration, marching grants for individual farmers, and projects monitoring, in line with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the present administration.
He described the loan as interest-free payable over 40 years with a 10-year moratorium although there is a 0.075 per cent service charge. An extra $50 million to the loan will be provided locally by Nigerian government and benefiting communities and through counterpart funding to complete the total value of the $250 million Fadama III project.
Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, further explained that the success of Fadama II encouraged this IDA loan which will now focus on rice, cassava, sorghum and horticulture in Lagos, Niger, Anambra, Enugu and Kano states.
A total of 317, 000 farmers will be targeted and irrigation facilities will be enhanced with 50 per cent of the marching grants extended to women and youth, he stated.
Adesina also informed journalists that next month’s Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) will for the first time in 20 years pick a particular sector for discourse instead of entire macro-economics; and President Jonathan will on the occasion launch the “Youth Employment in Agriculture” project.
About a year after emergency repair works were carried out on a section of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved another contract of N290.74 million for a comprehensive integrity test of the entire bridge.
Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, announced the new approval to newsmen at the State House, Abuja on Wednesday after the FEC meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan.


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