African Development Bank Denies Cancelling Loan To Nigeria

The African Development Bank (ADB) has denied allegations by media reports that it has called off its $600 million loan to Nigeria.

In a statement by the Senior Communications Officer  in the Country  Office in Abuja, Fatimah Alkali, it was made clear that the bank is set out to encourage the economic growth of the country.

Alkali said; “The African Development Bank wishes to categorically refute the statement that it has “called off loans to Nigeria”
“The African Development Bank is highly encouraged by the economic recovery of Nigeria from recession and salutes the government’s efforts towards diversification of the economy. The bank also strongly supports the Economic and Growth Recovery Plan of the Government and efforts to stem corruption and strengthen fiscal consolidation and efficiency.

“In November 2016, the Board of the African Development Bank approved a $600-million loan to support Nigeria’s efforts to cope with macroeconomic and fiscal shocks that arose from the massive decline in price of crude oil. An additional $400 million in support could be considered, if requested and approved by the Board, as part of a larger coordinated effort with other development partners, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“The African Development Bank is in consultations with the Government on how best to continue its support for its laudable Economic and Growth Recovery Plan through investment projects that will help address existing structural challenges, including infrastructure, power, agriculture and support to boost private sector and job creation.

“The bank assures the Nigerian government of its full support for its continued reforms to diversify the economy and boost economic growth and development.”

AfDB To Invest $12bn In Africa’s Power Sector

President, African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina says the bank would invest $12bn in the power sector in Africa in four years with the goal of leveraging on the aviation sector.

Adesina said the aviation sector was very important to the continent but that it could not operate in the dark.

He said the sector was very important to Africa because it accounted for about $73 bn in Gross Domestic Product and created about seven million jobs across the continent.

”Without electricity, you really cannot operate any effective and efficient airline industry and so this is one of the top priorities of the bank.

“We are investing in the power sector 12 billion dollars in the next four years with the goal of leveraging between 45 to 50 million dollars in this sector because I firmly believe that Africa cannot develop in the dark.

“So we must fast track that and when we have electricity, everything functions, even for the aviation industry and the tourism industry is actually quite linked to the aviation industry as well.”

He said the bank had invested over $20bn on infrastructure in Africa in the last 10 years, specifically $1bn in the aviation sector.

Adesina said the bank’s investment in the sector covered building new airports in Ghana, Senegal, Casablanca and building of new infrastructure in Morocco.

As for Nigeria, he said the government was developing a new aviation sector investment plan, adding that the government was interested in a number of areas.

“First is we are looking at how to support more investment in airport infrastructure; they are also looking at how to create aircraft maintenance, repair and also overhaul facility.

“But one of the biggest problems in Africa is we do not have any aircraft leasing facilities and that is one of the things that the government is looking at.

“We are looking at upgrading some of the navigational infrastructure.

“So as a bank, we are very strong supporters of the government.

“Once the government comes up with its plan and what that really means in terms of the need, then we can play the role that they are asking us to play but we do not make decisions for the government.”

AfDB is a multilateral development finance institution aimed at fighting poverty and improving the living conditions on the African continent.

It does this by promoting the investment of public and private capital in projects and programmes that are likely to contribute to the economic and social development of the region.

AfDB To Create 10,000 Agric Entrepreneurs

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is to make agriculture a profitable business as well as create 10,000 young agricultural entrepreneurs per country in the next 10 years.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the continental bank, gave the assurance at the 2017 World Food Day celebration.

The celebration with the theme: “change the future of migration; Invest in food security and rural development’ held in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, on Monday.

The World Food Day is celebrated yearly on October 16, to promote worldwide awareness for those who suffer from hunger and need to ensure food security and nutritious diets.

Adesina said that Africa’s food security depended on attracting young people to agriculture and agribusiness.

He added that the sector can potentially create wealth and employment for African youth, thereby stemming migration.

Adesina, therefore, urged African leaders to make agriculture attractive to young Africans to stem migration.

“In 2016, the bank provided $700 dollars to support this programme in eight countries and we’ve got requests now from 33 countries.

” We must get youths into agriculture and see it as a profitable business venture not a sign of lacking ambition.

“Many African youths are passionate about staying back on the continent to create wealth and employment if given the tools and opportunities to put their skills to use,” Adesina said.

According to him, under the Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment (ENABLE) Youth programme, AfDB is working with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to develop a new generation of young commercial farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs.

Adesina said that the bank considered investment in agriculture as the key to making Africa youths prosperous, thereby stemming the tide of migration.

He said that the goal and theme of 2017 World Food Day, were well aligned with two of the AfDB’s High 5 development priorities.

According to him, the High 5 priorities are Feed Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.

“With more than 70 per cent of Africans depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, it is imperative for the sector’s full potential to be unlocked.

” And by so doing help to vastly improve the lives of Africans.

“One of the goals of Feed Africa is to eliminate hunger and malnutrition by 2025.

” Due to the finite nature of mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, crude oil, among others, African countries must diversify their economies.

” This cannot be done without a significant emphasis on agriculture given that the great majority of Africans depend on it for their livelihoods,” he said.

AfDB president said that increased food demand and changing consumption habits driven by demographic factors such as urbanisation are leading to rapidly rising net food imports in Africa.

He said that if the trends are left unchecked food imports will grow from 35 billion dollars in 2015 to over 110 billion dollars by 2025.

“Given that African smallholder farmers are on average about 60 years old, Africa’s food security depends on attracting young people into agriculture and agribusiness and empowering them.

“Governments can support these shifts through the right enabling environments via policy reforms for increased private investment in agriculture and agribusiness,” Adesina said.



Source: NAN