Nigeria Wants AfDB's West Africa Regional Office In Abuja

by Noah Mcgee January 20, 2018, 3:37
Nigeria Wants AfDB's West Africa Regional Office In Abuja

The Minister commended the leadership of the Bank for providing a $1 billion budget support loan for Nigeria during the period of economic recession, out of which $600 million had been drawn. "These projects continue to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in many parts of our economy".

This development is believed to be a consolidation in the country's position as the bank's largest shareholder, with a portfolio of $6 billion and country operations accounting for 13 percent of the bank's total portfolio.

She said the bank provided the lifeline at the time that it was hard to secure budget support loan from anywhere as the country struggled with the 2015 to 2016 economic recession.

Just to underscore the love between the AFDB and Nigeria, as the President aptly described it as a marriage, we have loaned our own Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina to the bank, as he is to our great pride, Nigeria's first President of the Bank. "The first tranche of U.S. $600 million has been fully disbursed and utilized, and, in my discussions with the President of the Bank, we will be getting the remainder in the form of sector loans, so we are looking forward to the remaining USA $400 million", he said.

New infrastructure financing gap estimates, and innovative ways through which African countries can raise funds for infrastructure development, are among the highlights of the 2018 edition of the report, which was launched at the Bank's headquarters for the first time in the publication's 15-year history.

Adeosun who is also AfDB member of Board of Governors said the $1 billion intervention gave the country's foreign reserves the much-needed boost, which helped stabilise the naira.

Akinwumi Adesina, who made the claim, said with the approval of the lifeline, its Nigerian portfolio has risen to $6 billion, while it is working to increase its investment in Nigeria to $8 billion by 2019.

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The construction of the structure, he further said, is a reaffirmation of the African Development AfDBank's commitment to support the country to achieve its development reforms.

"We're guided by the trajectory of a growing Africa, a more resilient Africa and an Africa that must absolutely develop with what it has".

She stated, "It is in this regard that I would like to put on record Nigeria's strong desire and demand to host the regional hub of the African Development Bank".

The report also believes that the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-20) holds the promise of weaning the country off its dependence on oil, observing that the plan focuses on six priority sectors: agriculture; manufacturing; solid minerals, including iron, gold, and coal; services, including information and communication technology, financial services, tourism, and creative industries; construction and real estate; and oil and gas.

Area where the balance of the $400 million would be deployed once disbursed is in the North East region where he said some 10 million people are struggling to return to normal life following the devastating displacement by the activities of Boko Haram.

President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria will be getting $400m from the African Development Bank soon as sector loans.

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