Tuesday, September 27, 2011

FG to secure $550m loan from World Bank


26 September 2011

FG to secure $550m loan from World Bank

THE Federal Government in its bid to meet its transformation agenda and fix the polluted land in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country is negotiating a $550million financing, Coordinating Minister of the Nigerian Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said.

The minster, who dropped this hint in an interactive session with newsmen in Washington DC at the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF), said the response of the multi-lateral institution to Nigeria request has been quite encouraging and the deal will be finalised when the new World Bank country director arrives in Nigeria.

Okonjo-Iweala said: “We have an ambitious programme to create jobs. One of the several priorities is agriculture. We have very detailed plan for investment in agricultural sector. One of the things we did here in Washington was to start negotiating for extra financing from the World Bank. We are in discussion with them to see if they can advance about $500 million to support the sector, also environment because we see agriculture and environmental issues desirous of having support.

“We have also entered into discussion of $50million to support the environment and $500 million for agriculture. It is not concluded yet but it is looking positive and we are very happy with what is happening. We will conclude it when we get to Nigeria and the new country director arrives”.


FG committed to job creation

On job creation, she said the government is looking at both skilled and unskilled areas to generate gainful employment in Nigeria but needs different approaches to address different categories. “I am very happy to announce that Mr President will soon announce a programme targeted at skilled population called Youth Enterprise Programme.

“This would be launched within couple of weeks to try and launch business enterprise competition asking our youths to create enterprises. If they have innovative ideas about how to expand and employ more people, we would run a competition to support those ideas. We will support those ideas by working with banks”.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Youths and ICT. This is going to go life on the web and use all the modern tools to encourage participation. We are in partnership with the Lagos University and the World Bank. It is really a consortium to try and launch this across all the zones and to get all these ideas.

“Hopefully at the end of the day, we can get like about 600 proposals, which can be supported and finance and that will create the jobs. We are targeting several thousand jobs out of this. This is a very interesting programme and part of the N50 billion set aside in the budget will go to the financiers.

“We are also looking at public works programme for the unskilled and we are still working to finance that. We are also looking at women and will also launch for the women in various categories,”

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