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Nigeria govt commits 90% of new $268 million fund to Agric; tech gets only 10%

FG begins implementation of National Livestock Transformation Plan

The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved a total sum of $268 million funding to support tech and agricultural entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

The Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo disclosed this on Tuesday, February 25, in a tweet on behalf of the presidency, in what appears as a move to diversify the economy from its gross oil-dependency nature to a more inclusive, robust economy.

According to the Vice President, the fund was to see a new stream of investment to support a category of Nigeria’s non-oil sectors namely technology and agricultural entrepreneurship.

The Vice President, however, revealed that more than 90% of the funding was to go into agriculture while the left over would be channelled into funding tech developments.

This is summed up accordingly as the press statement issued from the presidency earmarked $248 of the $268 million total fund to go into agriculture.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has been employed to carry out the funding, with an instruction to disburse soft loans to individuals building small agricultural businesses while providing funding support for young tech innovators from the $20 million set aside from the cumulative of $268 million fund.

While this development is a positive one in the light of development, analysts have criticised the rationale behind cutting down on tech to as little below 10% of a fund intended to support growth of the economy.

With the increasing interest of foreign Venture Capital firms in the country’s tech productivity and its recent disruptive global force, it is only expected that the government would corroborate this pace by shifting off from its old ways when little or nothing is invested in its tech space.

No doubt, a 10 percent share to tech at this time is humbling, and a blow beneath the belt to tech stakeholders. This is especially so for a country, as Nigeria, looking for opportunities to diversify its economy.

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Ridwan Adelaja

Ridwan Adelaja is a multimedia journalist with a special interest in business news analysis

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