FEC approves N200b loan from Suisse AG London

• release N723m to West Africa power pool

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved the issuance of a Sovereign Guarantee of 500 million Euros (about N200 billion) from the Credit Suisse AG London Branch and a syndicate of international lenders as collateral for 500m Euro facility to the Bank of Industry. 

Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the council meeting. 

He said that it is basically to finance major industrialisation projects and micro-small and medium enterprises value chains in Nigeria for up to five years of tenure at affordable rates; these rates are single-digit rates. 

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According to him, “the guarantor of the loan shall be the Federal Republic of Nigeria and this going to be executed through the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning.”

He further explained that the main objective of the loan is to support industry; revitalise agro-industrial processing zones, to facilitate the creation of new jobs.

The minister stated: “We do believe that 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 and the deployment of transportation infrastructure that connect farming communities to processors and marketers. 

“The loan will be swapped to Naira by the CBN 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.”

The council also approved the release of $2 million (about N723 million) as the nation’s contribution to the West Africa power pool. 

Minister of for Power, Saleh Mamman, who spoke on the issue said: “The Ministry of Power has presented this memo seeking for the ratification; the approval of the president to release 2 million dollars, that is, part of our contribution to the West African Power Pool and it has been graciously approved.”

Also speaking, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, noted that FEC approved reforms for the justice sector. 

He explained: “It is a blueprint that set out a shared vision, objectives and interventions for the reform of justice sector to engender fair, efficient and transparent administration of justice.

“The intention and design were to have a justice sector reformed package that will turn things for the better as far as the administration of justice is concerned. 

“It will turn things around relating to the justice, it turn things around in relating to speedy administration of justice and turn things around for the purpose of ensuring at the end of the day, that will have a consensus approach to the administration of justice. “

Malami said FEC also approved the amendment to Geneva Convention Act Cap G3, of the Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. 

He noted that the convention was designed to provide protection to prisoners of wars, to people involved in armed conflicts, and associated infractions.

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