ABN - China has agreed to lend Nigeria US$4.5 billion to support a drive to rapidly improve the West African nation’s local agricultural sector.
The loan will cover costs relating to the purchase of farming tools such as bulldozers, graders, and irrigation pumps.
Negotiations between the two countries have been ongoing since Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture, and Abdulaziz Yari, State Governor of Zamfara visited China last year.
The politicians informed journalists in Abuja of the loan, after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the outcome of the discussions.
"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,” said Ogbeh.
"The Chinese were willing to supply us these things on a long-term basis, offering 20-years credit at an interest rate of 1% per annum.”
Nigeria’s agricultural industry remains a key pillar in the national economy, but has been dogged by myriad problems, including a lack of modernised farming tools and low levels of irrigation development.