The Federal Government has sourced a fresh €500m loan for the Bank of Industry from Credit Suisse AG, London branch, and a syndicate of international lenders.
The facility (about N200bn) was approved at Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The Minister of State, Budget/National Planning, Mr Clement Agba, spoke with State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting.
He explained that the loan was sourced to finance industrial activities and agriculture.
Agba added that up to 1.2 million new jobs would be created through the utilisation of the loan.
He said, “The loan is basically to finance major industrialisation projects and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises value chain in Nigeria for up to five years’ tenure 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 and to facilitate the creation of new jobs.”
The minister added, “We do believe that about 1.2 million jobs will be created through this facility.
“This will 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 Central Bank of Nigeria 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.”
In addition, the meeting approved the release of $2m by the Federal Government as part of Nigeria’s contribution to the West African Power Pool.