Nigeria approved borrowing of $945 million from the International Development Association, an arm of the World Bank, for irrigation and drainage projects, Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda said.
The borrowing consists of $495 million for irrigation projects in states including Kano, Sokoto and Zamfara; $250 million for urban water projects in Bauchi, Ekiti and Rivers states; and $200 million to improve drainage in Ibadan, Nigeria’s third-biggest city.
The loan, repayable in 20 years, comes at an interest rate of 1.25 percent and a service cost of 0.75 percent, Yuguda told reporters yesterday in the capital, Abuja. With irrigation Nigeria will have capacity for a “year-out year-in farming season,” he said.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, is seeking to expand agricultural output to reduce dependence on oil exports, which account for more than 70 percent of government revenue. Agriculture, which employs more than 60 percent of the population, represents about 22 percent of the gross domestic product, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.