Premium Times (Abuja)

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a loan facility of $1.2 billion to finance the mechanisation of agriculture in the country.

Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents after the virtual FEC meeting anchored from the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The virtual meeting was presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The online FEC was in line with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocol on physical distancing as Nigeria strives to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Nanono did not provide details of the loan including its source and conditions. However, the finance minister and the debt management office had earlier said Nigeria would utilise more internal borrowings, rather than external borrowings, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy.

On Wednesday, Mr Nanono said that the planned mechanisation of agriculture would span 632 local governments.

"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," he said.

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