Nigeria: Govt Approves N479 Billion for Agric Mechanization, Others Get N47.9 Billion

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a $1.2 billion loan facility to finance the mechanisation of agriculture nationwide.

This is even as the Council also approved N683 million for the Nigerian Ports Authority for the purchase of 19 vehicles as well as another N47.235 billion for the provision of additional critical power grid infrastructure.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono, gave the hint on the agriculture loan mechanization facility while briefing State House correspondents after the Council's virtual meeting anchored from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Nanono said that the planned mechanisation would cover at least 632 local governments.

He explained: "Today, we presented a joint memo with the Federal Ministry of Finance in which we seek the approval for a loan facility of about 950 million Euros translated probably to 1.2 billion dollars.

"This loan is for the purpose of agricultural mechanisation in this country that will cover about 632 local governments plus 140 processing plants. This is going to be a major revolution in the agriculture sector, that we have never seen before", the minister enthused.

On the approved N683 million for the NPA, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, said the approval by the council was sequel to the consideration of a memo for award of contract for the purchase of 19 vehicles for Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).

According to him, this is the first time in four years that NPA is buying any vehicle and that is why the council approved the request.

Similarly, the Minister of Power, Malam Sale Mamman, said the ministry secured approval for the revised estimated total cost for the augmentation of the subsisting contract for the provision of additional critical power grid infrastructure in the sum N47.2 billion to serve the whole North Eastern part of the country.

Specifically, he disclosed that the provision of additional critical power grid infrastructure was for the full evacuation and utilisation of 40mw currently from Kashimbila via Takum-Wukari and Yendev.

He clarified: "This is to evacuate completely 40 megawatts to the national grid. If it is not evacuated, Nigerian government will lose not less than 130 megawatts of power which is equivalent to almost nine million in a year."

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