FG to finance industrialisation projects with €500m loan

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President Muhammadu Buhari

The government is targeting 1.2million jobs with a 500 million Euro loan to be managed by the Bank of Industry.

The external creditors’ loan will support industrialisation and agriculture, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, said at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

He said: “Council today approved the issuance of a Sovereign Guarantee of 500 million Euros from the Credit Suisse AG London Branch and a syndicate of international lenders as collateral for 500 million Euro facility to the Bank of Industry.

“The loan is basically to finance major industrialization projects and micro-small and medium enterprises value chains in Nigeria for up to five years tenor at affordable rates; these rates are single digit rates.

“The guarantor of the loan shall be the Federal Republic of Nigeria and this is going to be executed through the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning. “The main objective of the loan is to support industry; revitalise agro-industrial processing zones, to facilitate the creation of new jobs.

“We do believe that about 1.2 million jobs will be created through this facility; increase the income of farming communities and promote the inclusion of SMEs and small holder producers in the industrial value chain and the deployment of transportation infrastructure that connect farming communities to processors and market.

“The loan will be swapped to Naira by the CBN to mitigate the foreign exchange risk and the fund will therefore  be available to Nigerian enterprises at a more affordable rate and in local currency.” he stated

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the council approved a Justice Sector Policy for the country essentially to reform the sector by simplifying access to justice.

He said the policy, would ensure “speedy determination of justice”, “quality of justice” and “access to justice.”

He said the council also approved a memo seeking to repeal the Geneva Convention and re-enact it to “accord greater access to justice by prisoners of war.”

According to him, Nigeria was lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of certain rights and privileges for prisoners of war.

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