Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Finance Minister

 

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the issuance of a €500 million Sovereign Guarantee (about N153.5 billion) from the Credit Suisse AG London Branch as collateral for a loan.

The loan, 500 million Euro, was sourced from a ‘syndicate of international lenders’ to finance major industrialization projects, an official told Premium Times. The loan was issued to Nigeria’s Bank of Industry.

The loan will also finance the activities of micro, small and medium enterprises value chains in Nigeria for up to five years, the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, told journalists.

Mr Agba briefed State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

He said the main objective of the loan is to support industry, revitalize agro-industrial processing zones and facilitate the creation of new jobs.

According to him, the loan is to be disbursed to handlers of major industrialization projects and micro-small and medium enterprises value chains at single-digit rates

“The guarantor of the loan shall be the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to be executed through the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning,” Mr Agba said.

“We believe about 1.2 million jobs will be created through this facility; increase the income of farming communities and promote the inclusion of SMEs and smallholder producers in the industrial value chain.

“The loan will also help in the deployment of transportation infrastructure to connect farming communities to processors and market.”