The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has assured that the $4.5bn that will come to the agriculture sector from the Chinese government as grant to Nigeria would be used to effectively boost agric mechanization even as he noted that the grant must be approached with caution.
It would be recalled that as a way of strengthening the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the Republic of China, President Mohammed Buhari in April 2016 visited China and the Chinese President, Mr. Xi Jinping promised to grant Nigeria a loan for infrastructural development”
The Minister however said “the loan by way of machinery for mechanised agriculture, may not be grabbed without some kinds of due diligence analysis”.
Chief Ogbeh stated this when he met with some governors and the representatives of China-Africa Machinery Corporation (CAMACO) in Abuja On Friday, to harmonise some of the technical terms in the Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) that the Nigerian Government needed to sign before the supply of the machinery from China.
According to Chief Ogbeh “while Nigeria appreciates the kind gesture of the Chinese government, Nigeria government must apply due caution to the signing of all the documents and also consider the offer very critically before delving into it.
The Governors of Ebonyi, Jigawa, Kebbi, Zamfara states and a representative of Osun governor and other critical stakeholders present at the meeting expressed concern over the quality of machinery that will be procured, considering the fact that the state governors who want to be part of the project will have to contribute 10% of the total amount and are also required to pay 1% interest per annum on the money.