Peoples Republic of China is to
lend Nigeria the sum of $4.5billion to buy
appropriate farming tools to boost local
The tools included tractors, bulldozers,
graders, irrigation pumps amongst others.
Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh
and Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara
State made the disclosure at the
Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
Both men said they were in the Villa to
brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the
outcome of their journey to China April last
year on the issue.
Ogbeh: “We came to brief the President on
developments following our visit to China
in April last year and our negotiations on a
number of issues to deal with machineries
for agricultural development.
“We signed an agreement which engages
all the states including FCT from the
Federal Ministry of Agriculture for the
procurement of strategic machinery for
rural development and agriculture.
Tractors, bulldozers, graders, irrigation
pumps, tarsiers and so on from China.
“The Chinese were willing to supply us
these things for a long term basis, 20 years
credit at an interest rate of 1 percent per
“A committee has been working on the
matter and we are close to sorting out all
the small details and that is why we came
to see the President.
“Of all the partners we have, the Chinese
have shown the willingness to see us out
of our problems, because about 30 years
ago they were in the same crisis. They see
us as people in the same circumstances
that they were then and they are willing to
help us get out of it and we appreciate it,
the president does.”
The Minister said that President
Muhammadu Buhari directed them to liase
with the Ministry of Budget and Planning,
Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria,
CBN to sort out the technical requirements.
“The President responded well. He asked
us to get in touch with the Ministry of
Budget and Planning, Finance and CBN to
sort out all the technical details and move
on with it”, he said.
Also speaking, Yari said that the expected
loan was $4.5billion.
He said: “Following the visit of Mr.
President sometime last year, we engaged
the Chinese government and they showed
some willingness to support Nigeria. In this
“Chinese Government Organisation
Company in cooperation with the People’s
Bank of China and the Federal Ministry of
Agriculture under the leadership of the
“They are giving us a credit line of
$4.5billion which will cover the
machineries and infrastructure that is rural
earth dams, irrigation and the loan has a
20 years repayment term with 5 years
“Initially we started negotiations to drop a
counterpart funding of 25%, but
understanding the economy of Nigereria, we
negotiated to give a counterpart funding of
10 percent which we believe Nigeria can do
and we are targeting the natural resources
fund fro the counterpart funding.
“We are now speaking with the Chinese
group and the Nigerian governors and the
technical committee that was set up by the
minister and the ministry of agriculture and
“So we have now come to a stage where
the President needs to come in so that he
can give us a leadership role and a kind of
approval of a certain level so that we can
“This government has said they will
diversify the economy to agriculture and
the only way that this can succeed is
through agric mechanisation. The way that
we are doing farming today, many young
men and women are not going to farm
because of the way it is being done.
Meanwhile in other sister nations the
agriculture is with machineries and
equipment and we have been doing it for
the past 60 years with hoe.
“So, we are making a huge progress with
this partnership and realize that China is
coming first to support this country.
“The president has given us his
commitment and also asked us to engage
the minister of finance, budget and national
planning and the CBN to conclude and then
the minister of agric will make presentation
to council, then to the national assembly
for final approval.”