Published: Sat, January 20, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Africa needs $130bn for infrastructure development annually - AfDB

Africa needs $130bn for infrastructure development annually - AfDB

African Development President Akinwumi Adesina has made a compelling case for infrastructure projects saying they are among the most profitable investments any society can make. "Poverty is unacceptably high; almost 80 per cent of Nigeria's 190 million people live on less than $2 a day", the bank said in its report.

The bank in its 2018 African Economic Outlook projected that Nigeria's economy would grow at 2.1 per cent in 2018 and 2.5 per cent in 2019. "The first tranche of U.S. $600 million has been fully disbursed and utilized, and, in my discussions with the President of the Bank, we will be getting the remainder in the form of sector loans, so we are looking forward to the remaining USA $400 million", he said.

"The bank has positioned itself as the preferred lending partner in Nigeria as it continues to support Nigeria's long-term aspiration to be among the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020", the Senior Director, Nigeria Country Department of the AfDB, Ebrima Faal said.

"The approval by the Bank sent a much-needed positive signal to the markets at a critical time for Nigeria and for this we will remain ever grateful", Osinbajo said.

He said that the building was an important symbol of the special relationship between the bank and Nigeria, its founding member and the largest shareholder since inception.

Adeosun who is also AfDB member of Board of Governors said the $1 billion intervention gave the country's foreign reserves the much-needed boost, which helped stabilise the naira.

To contribute to this agenda, the African Development Bank, through the High-5s - unveiled by Dr. Adesina when he took office in 2015 - is in our view, right on track by investing more in infrastructure, agriculture, education, healthcare, and increased access to, in particular, affordable energy and water. We have already clearly demonstrated through the partnership that led to the establishment of the Bank's Nigeria Trust Fund, established in 1976.

"Our investments are structured around high five priorities".

Area where the balance of the $400 million would be deployed once disbursed is in the North East region where he said some 10 million people are struggling to return to normal life following the devastating displacement by the activities of Boko Haram.

"It reflects better global economic conditions; the recovery in commodity prices (mainly oil and metals); sustained domestic demand, partly met by import substitution; and improvements in agricultural production", AfDB said in its report.

The President AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said that the new complex was the first that the Bank had built outside its headquarters in Abijan since inception in 1964.

The Minister of Finance expressed Nigeria's profound appreciation to the Bank for "doing business slightly differently from other multilateral development banks and global financial institutions".

Similarly to these economies, Nigeria and South Africa, the continent's leading economies, should grow also.

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