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Nigeria Seeks $1.2Bn Loan From Brazil For Agric Financing

The Nigerian Government is seeking National Assembly approval for $1.2 billion loan from Brazilian Government to fund some areas of the agriculture value chain, Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, hinted on Tuesday in Abuja during the ministry’s budget defence.

The minister told the House of Representative Committee on Finance that the Federal Government was also making efforts to acquire at least 100,000 hectares of land in each state for the purposes of food crops production.

She explained: “We need to address issues in the agriculture value chain as the country moves towards other sources of revenue. Already, the Federal Government is making efforts to acquire100,000 hectares of land per state for food production.

“Roads will be built in such locations to provide access for farm inputs and ease the movement of farm produce to the markets. If the farmers can move their farm produce to markets, it will reduce post-harvest losses”, the minister added.

Ahmed also spoke on the Police reforms and expressed hope that the review would be completed timely so that while the Appropriation process is going on, the revised salaries would be included in the 2021 fiscal year budget.

According to her, government is committed to the use of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for the payment of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The minister, however, pointed out that ASUU’s newly developed University Accountability and Transparency Solution (UTAS) would also undergo verification by experts.

Ahmed told the committee that in the ministry’s Appropriation proposal to the National Assembly, N1.647 billion was proposed as personnel cost, N1.70 billion as overhead costs, and N4.005 billion proposed as capital expenditure in the 2021 Appropriation Bill before the Legislature.

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