African Development Bank To Offer Nigeria $4.1b
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has offered to help Nigeria tackle her current economic recession with $4.1 billion support.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina led a delegation of the bank to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Monday for a meeting with the National Economic Management Team headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Adesina later told State House reporters that the $4.1 billion support would be provided between 2016 and 2017 for such sectors as power, agriculture and infrastructure as well as “for the private sector, the SMEs financing and lending.”
He said he expects the AfDB’s portfolio in Nigeria would not decrease, but would actually grow as the bank expected to invest a total of $10 billion in the country by 2019.
Adesina, who is the immediate past Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, also disclosed that in this year alone, the AfDB was going to provide $1 billion budget support to the country.
He stated: “The bank’s largest shareholder is Nigeria. It’s very important for me to be here and to talk to the Nigerian government about the challenges and opportunities that are in Nigeria. The times are difficult, there is doubt about that; but I want to commend the government for being bold in taking the right decisions.
“The issues we think are important are the needs to further deepen the diversification of the rest of the economy and also to ensure macro-economic stability as well as fiscal stability in the country.
He said his delegation also discussed with Nigeria’s economic team on how to invest in area of women and youths employment in Nigeria “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.”
Adesina said the AfDB would also provide $100 million to the Bank of Industry to be able to lend to small and medium size enterprises as well as finance the Bank of Agriculture to be able to reform itself for more financing.
He affirmed that Nigeria was currently in tough times, but said the nation “is not falling apart. And when people talk about debt crisis, Nigeria is not in debt crisis. If you look at the fiscal deficit of this country with regard to the GDP, it’s about 3 or 3.5%. It’s still way below the 5% for the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said what had been a great relief to the economic team was the synergy between “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.”
She said while the government was looking unto the AfDB for $1bn budget support, “but beyond that, there are lots of loans and initiatives around agriculture, job creation or the youths, solid minerals, women empowerment and women’s access to finance, access to finance to the SMEs.”
Asked about the interest rate on the loans, the minister responded: “Its concession is way below two%. 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.”
Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/recession-afdb-meets-buhari-s-economic-team-offers-4-1bn-lifeline/163915.html#RaatSWwyq8K182qx.99
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