Maiduguri – The Federal Government said, Monday, that part of the subsidy re-investment fund will be channelled to river basin development projects across the country.
Dr Yarima Lawan, the Minister of State for Finance, who gave this indication in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Maiduguri said: “We have identified lack of funds as one of the major problems facing agriculture. That is why government has penciled down river basin projects among those key areas to benefit from the subsidy reinvestment fund.”
Lawan added that dam projects across the country would also benefit from the funds, adding:
“All dam projects, as well as about 12 river basin projects will benefit. The projects are located in Borno, Yobe and about seven other states.”
He said that a team, made up of state Directors of Finance, would visit Indonesia this month on tour of agriculture projects and that the tour was packaged by the Islamic Development Bank to show-case the various projects that had succeeded in changing people’s lives in that country. “We are trying to see how we can replicate those projects in Nigeria.”
He added that a team of experts from the bank would also visit Nigeria on March 16, to explore the possibility of assisting farmers.
The minister said that Nigerian farmers and other interested stakeholders had been invited to come and see how they could benefit from numerous packages offered by the bank.
He said that officials of River Basin Development Authorities would also attend the meetings to see how they could access additional funds for their projects.
According to the minister, the Arab world is looking for places with favourable climate such as Nigeria, to grow wheat.
“They have already started this kind of project in countries like Senegal and Sudan. I believe Nigeria needs this kind of investment because it will generate employment opportunities for our teeming unemployed youths.”