Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB) has promised strategic investment of $4.1 billion in 2016 and 2017 and up to $10 billion in Nigeria by 2019.
Adesina said in Abuja after meeting Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Economic Management Team that ADB will fully support the efforts of the Federal Government to address the current economic challenges in the country.
“We will support Nigerian government with the budget support to be able to deal with some of the domestic fiscal imbalance that they have. We are looking to consider for the Board $1 billion to help them to deal with that particular deficit that is there. In addition to that, there are other challenges that the economy has which is in terms diversifying and deepening the level of diversification in critical sectors. So agriculture, solid minerals very important; manufacturing as well as industrial sector is very important.
So the bank will provide in total between 2016 and 2017 a total of $4.1 billion to Nigeria in various areas of power, infrastructure to agriculture and the private sector for SME financing and lending. I expect that our portfolio in Nigeria will not decrease; it will actually grow. We expect to invest in Nigeria by 2019 a total of $10 billion in terms of our portfolio.’’
In terms of power, Adesina said: “We also recognize that power is perhaps the most important challenge that is driving inflation in the country. We expect from our portfolio this year to invest in over 1,400 megawatts of projects that are going to be focused on the energy sector. By 2017, we plan to invest in about 1,387 megawatts of generation projects for the sector.’’
Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Minister of Finance said the government went to ADB and the World Bank Group for loans because of the cheap conditions attached.
“We have stuck to that strategy and we have very conservative debt profile. That is a great flexibility on the comfort of the country and we have not over-borrowed. What we have to do and what we are doing is to make sure that this money we borrowed is used on key infrastructure that will drive the economy.”