China to Loan Nigeria $4.5 Billion to Boost Agriculture


China has pledged to continue with an active role in promoting global socio-economic development and considers Africa as an important partner in reforming world affairs.This was part of the discussion at the recent National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) often referred to as the “Two Sessions” .The Two Sessions are a major policy debate held annually at this time, through which China reviews its national, regional and global development priorities, and implementation of annual and five-year plans.

The country also set up an initiative that will establish new routes linking Asia, Africa and Europe. It has two parts — a new Silk Road Economic Belt linking China to Europe through Central Asia; and the Maritime Silk Road that links China’s ports with India and the African coast.

In order to fulfill some of their promises, China has said it will lend Nigeria $4.5 billion to boost local agriculture.The loan is to enable Nigeria purchase farming tools including tractors, bulldozers, graders, irrigation pumps, amongst others. Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria’s minister of Agriculture, and Abdulaziz Yari, Zamfara State Governor, made the disclosure while speaking to journalists recently.

In addition, Yari and Ogbe, in their submissions, said they were in the Villa to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the outcome of their journey to China on the issue.

“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 machinery for agricultural development,” said Mr. Ogbe.

“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” he added.

“All countries must work together on global trade,” Premier Li said, adding that China will remain an important engine for global socio-economic development.

He said China supports globalization, free trade as well as opening up its economy, and the country is already involved in various initiatives with different partners to promote global socio-economic development.

One of China’s initiative is the “One Belt One Road Strategy” that was first announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, titled “Visions and Actions on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road” and collectively known as “Belt and Road”. This is a development policy with a holistic vision of economic, political and security development to reach out and initiate action to jointly build a new world order that is development-oriented, for mutual prosperity and human security. The initiative stated that its vision for the overland Silk Road Economic Belt, and the Maritime Silk Road by sea has the potential to change the global political and economic landscape through rapid development of infrastructure and transport corridors of countries along the routes, and the emphasis is on “joint”.

The Nigeria government is trying really hard to eradicate poverty in the country. However, Nigeria’s agricultural sector will definitely take a new shape if the money is received. The success of this will promote agricultural activities in the country and also enhance development by eradicating high inflation rate.

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