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FEC okays €500m loan for Bank of Industry

The Federal Government Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved that 500 million Euro loan be sourced for the Bank of Industry from external creditors.

According to the  Minister of State Finance, Clement Agba, the loan is to support industrialisation and agriculture in addition to creating up to 1.2 million new jobs.

“The credit guarantee is for up to five years and the Federal Government is the guarantor of the loan,” he stated.

Agba said: “Council today approved the issuance of a Sovereign Guarantee of 500 million Euros from the Credit Suisse AG London Branch and a syndicate of international lenders as collateral for 500m Euro facility to the Bank of Industry.

“The loan is basically to finance major industrialisation projects and micro-small and medium enterprises values chains 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.

“We do believe that about 1.2 million jobs will be created through this facility to increase the income of farming communities and promote the inclusion of SMEs and small holder producers in the industrial value chain. It will also aid the deployment of transportation infrastructure that connect farming communities to processors and market.

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“The loan will be swapped to Naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to mitigate the foreign exchange risk and will therefore  be available to Nigerian enterprises at an affordable rate in local currency.”

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said Council approved a Justice Sector Policy for the country essentially to reform the sector by simplifying access to justice.

He explained that the policy would ensure “speedy determination of justice”, “quality of justice” and “access to justice.”

He said: “It is a blue print that sets 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 is to have a justice sector reformed package that will turn things for the better as far as administration of justice is concerned. It will turn things around relating to the justice, 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 the Council also approved a memo seeking to repeal the Geneva Convention and re-enact it to “accord greater access to justice by prisoners of war.”

He explained that Nigeria was behind the rest the world in terms of according prisoners of war certain rights and privileges.

He said: “The Geneva convention which is accommodated in our laws; Geneva Convention Act Cap G3, of the Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. Its a convention that was designed to provide protection to prisoners of wars, to people involved in armed conflicts, and associated infractions.”

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