The President of African Development Bank (AfDB) and former minister of agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina promised that the bank will support Nigeria’s 2016 budget with $1 billion.
The AFDB president told newsmen yesterday in Aso Rock villa, Abuja when he visited President Muhammad Buhari.
Adesina said AFDB will invest about $10bn as intervention for Nigeria in the next three years to assist Nigeria’s economy to get out of recession.
He added that $4.1bn is expected to be disbursed between 2016 and 2017.
The current economic recession facing the country has necessitated the need to source for funds from all legal means available by the Federal government to fund the 2016 budget.
After meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Adesina noted that “We’ve asked for the need for better synergies between the macro policy side and monetary policy side and also the fiscal policy side of the economy.
“And of course, we also recognize that power is perhaps the most important challenge that is driving inflation in the country. So we expect in our portfolio this year to invest a total of 1,400 megawatts of projects to focus on the energy sector and by 2017 we plan to invest in 1,387 megawatts of power for the sector.”
He said: “The times are difficult, there is no doubt about that; but I want to commend the government for being bold in taking the right decisions.
“The fact that the price of crude oil has gone down is a big challenge because you’ve 98% external forex revenue coming from the sector, so it has created calibrations.
“We’ve said we’re going to support the Nigerian government with the budget support to be able to deal with some of fiscal imbalance they’ve. We’re looking to consider for an upward $1bn to help deal with that particular deficit.”
He expressed the need for Nigeria to look towards agriculture, solid mineral manufacturing and industrial sectors if Nigeria must diversify its economy.
He assured of the readiness of AFDB to assist Nigeria to achieve economic stability.
Adesina and his delegates also met with the Vice President, Yemi Osibajo and the National Economic Management Team.
During the meeting with the Vice President, the AFDB delegate advice the economic management team on the need to prioritize women and youth empowerment.
“As well as to look for opportunities to support access to finance by supporting the Development Bank of Nigeria with $500m which will help to provide cheap financing for the real sector that the country wants to grow.”
Daily Trust reports that Adesina promised that the AfDB would make available the sum of $100 million to the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture for disbursement to small and medium size businesses.
Adesina furthered that although Nigeria is facing hardships now, he assured that the country“is not falling apart.
He said he is confident that “Nigeria will come out of this as a better more diversified economy than it went into the recession.”
While speaking to newsmen after the meeting with AFDB, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said the collaboration between the economic management team and the AFDB is helpful.
“What we’re trying to do and what the AfDB, repositioning under Adesina, is trying to focus on. And most of the sectors, the specific programmes that the bank has are the very areas we want to focus on the economy.”
When asked about the interest rate on the loans, Mrs. Adeosun responds that “Its concession is way below 2%. It’s about 1.2%. We’re not over-borrowing, what we’re trying to do is to ensure that this money we’re borrowing, we use it on the key infrastructure that will drive the economy.”