April 4, 2017 / 4:35 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-China offers Nigeria $4.5 bln loan for farm machinery

(Adds quote, details)

ABUJA, April 4 (Reuters) - China has offered Nigeria a $4.5 billion loan for agricultural machinery and infrastructure, a Nigerian state governor said on Tuesday.

Zamfara state governer Abdulaziz Yari said the loan had a 20-year repayment period at an interest rate of 1 percent.

"China is giving us a credit line of $4.5 billion for the procurement of strategic machinery for rural development and agriculture," Yari, who chairs the forum of Nigeria's state governors, told reporters after a meeting with the president and agriculture minister.

Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy and an OPEC member, is in its first recession in 25 years largely due to low oil prices. The government has prioritised growth in the agriculture sector to reduce its reliance on crude oil sales, which make up two-thirds of government revenue.

Agriculture minister Audu Ogbeh said he and the governor briefed the president on "developments following our visit to China in April last year" and the progress of negotiations on issues related to agricultural machinery.

Yari said the loan offer would be presented to cabinet colleagues on Wednesday and considered by lawmakers for final approval. (Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by John Stonestreet and Pritha Sarkar)

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