New Telegraph

FG Tackled Over Fresh €995M Planned Loan From Brazil, GDB

The Federal Government must have clear policy direction for the €995 million (N1.7 trn) loan it intends taking from the Brazilian Government and German Deutsche Bank Group so it will not be seen as a facility meant to create opportunity for behind the scene dealings, the Executive Director, Climate Africa Media Initiative and Centre, Mr. Aliu Akoshile, has warned.

He also said that because of climate change, there were many changes that are required to be addressed in Nigeria. The Federal Government had recently signed a €995 million (N1.7 trillion) agreement with the Brazilian Government and German Deutsche Bank Group to finance a Green Imperative Programme in Nigeria, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, had disclosed.

Speaking in Minna, capital of Niger State, at the flag-off of Food Security on Mechanised Programme, he also said that the Federal Government and John Deer Group, an affiliate of TaTa Equipment, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the delivery and implementation of 10,000 tractors every year for the period of five years.

He said the Green Imperative programme seeks to establish a mechanisation hub in each of the 774 local governments areas in the country. Akoshile in an interview with New Telegraph over the weekend also said a clear policy direction was imperative to make the facility or any other intended facility result oriented. He also said the facility must be judiciously utilised. Akoshile said: “We should think of what we can use to support every other region in Nigeria.

Do not give a one sided solution to our agriculture development or food security challenge. It must be domesticated within what is a comparative advantage in each region. “First of all, you must look at the imperatives of the food security challenges that Nigeria is facing today. Of course, people may argue that it is a global challenge. In Europe and America, there seems to be a kind of crisis around food globally, partly because of climate change, rainfall pattern, variation in planting seasons and the yield that normally a hectare of land should give.

Everything has been affected by climate change. “The other one is the fact that the present government in Nigeria, the Ahmed Bola Tinubu administration came on the “Renewed Hope agenda’ and to the best of what I have seen, they want to make food a priority because even the President said it when he was in Minna for the launching of the Agric Mechanisation Initiative.” He said there were no problems in taking loans, noting that countries, companies, private businesses and even individuals take loans.

According to him, the critical thing is to determine what the loan is to be used for. He noted that the FG took the facility to develop agriculture. He explained that the spread of the facility meant that for the next five years, the contractor, a subsidiary of Tata, a global manufacturer of agric equipment and implements, would supply 2,000 tractors annually for five years.

Akoshile said: “I really do not know whether we can get value at the end of the day because the idea from the government said about this loan is to distribute 2,000 tractors and other farm equipment annually to 774 local governments in Nigeria. How do you do it? 2,000 equipment in a year? Meaning that it can hardly go round three tractors per LG. In a local government, how effective will 2 tractors be in a year? “Government must have a clear policy direction so that this loan will not become something that people will allege that it is just to create opportunity for behind the scene dealings.

“There is no problem in taking a loan but taking loans for about N1.7 trillion, which is to supply about 10,000 tractors over a period of five years. “The Minister for Agric must clearly tell us how this will impact on the food production. We must have a definitive expectation that at the end of the day, we will be happy taking the loan.

We must say as a nation, what are the definitive expectations in the first year? The loans must be result oriented. Every country takes loans. There is no problem about taking loans.” Akoshile also said that there must be definitive expectations to be achieved by the deployment of the facility.

He advised the government to have a nationalist blueprint for food security and agriculture development. According to him, it is imperative to consider comparative advantage in the allocation of national resources or facilities so that resources will be allocated according to needs for maximal results.

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