AfDB will invest $2bn in Nigeria by 2019 – Adesina

The level of investments in Nigeria by the African Development Bank (AfDB) will grow to $8billion from the present $6 billion, the President of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina has said.

Speaking yesterday at the opening of the Nigeria Country Office in Abuja, Mr Adesina said the bank strongly supports Nigeria and always will. “You can tell by our level of investments in Nigeria to the tune of $6 billion”.

He said “The African Development Bank was were there when it mattered most. For a partner in times of need, is a great partner indeed. The African Development Bank approved and disbursed budget support of $600 million to Nigeria, as it faced its worst recession in decades. Our support went beyond money: it demonstrated our strong commitment to help stabilize Africa’s largest economy.”

“We will accelerate support for infrastructure and the energy sector. Our investments are structured around our High 5 priorities: Light up and power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life for the people of Africa.”

“We’ve invested $500 million in the Development Bank of Nigeria. We expanded private equity investment in agriculture. We put in $18 million into the Fund for Financing Agriculture in Nigeria (FAFIN). This year, we will be investing this year $200 million in the TCN to support the rehabilitation of existing transmission lines in partnership with the World Bank. We’ve invested $100 million in the Mainstream Power IPP in Jebba and Kanji, to add 700 MW to the national grid.”

“Our private sector investment includes $300 million in Dangote Industries to promote refining of petroleum products, and $100 million to support Indorama Eleme fertilizer company as part of a $1.2 billion syndicated financing package that will produce 1.4 million MT of fertilizers, and expect to generate $2.1 billion in export earnings over the project life. We invested over $134 million in OLAM in agriculture.”

Adesina said the bank support also extends to the financial sector. “Several Nigerian banks have benefitted from $1.8 billion in lines of credit, including Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, First Bank, WEMA bank, Zenith Bank, GT Bank and the Bank of Industry and NEXIM.”

He said the building  which is the first of its kind by the bank in any member country, makes a bold statement, “Specifically, that the African Development Bank is here to stay in Nigeria. It sends a strong message that the African development bank appreciates Nigeria. And it sends a message that Nigeria’s place in the integration of Africa, especially in West Africa, cannot be ignored.””

“We cannot ignore the fact that Africa’s largest economy is now out of recession and projected to grow at 2.3 per cent this year. I highly commend the Government for all the hard work and efforts to change the trajectory of the economy for good. Congratulations!”

Speaking at the event, president Muhammadu Buhari commended the bank for its quick intervention of about $1billion as budget support in 2016 during the recession.

He said the government accessed $600 million and working to access the remaining balance as soon as possible.

In her remark, the minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun  demanded for the hosting of the West Africa Regional Office of the African Development Bank in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

She said AfDB-Nigeria Country Office over the years, under past and current leadership of Dr. Ebrima Faal, Senior Director has maintained an appreciable level of cooperation and collaborative engagement with the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Coming at this time, the new office complex will no doubt strengthen Nigeria’s effort and desire for regional integration in the West African Region.  It is in this regard that I will like to put on record Nigeria’s strong desire and demand to host the regional hub of AfDB.