‘AfDB driving private sector investment in Nigeria’
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is working with other development partners and financial institutions to deploy instruments, including direct lending, equity and de-risking facilities, to support the government for the implementation of investment policies in the country.
The bank will also engage a platform of the Africa Investment Forum in this regard. AfDB President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, gave the assurance, yesterday, as a panelist at a one-day investors’ webinar to showcase the investment opportunities in the Federal Government’s reform and privatisation activities.
According to him, while the Federal Government had spearheaded various reforms in the banking sector that have enhanced the resilience of the financial system, there is a need to complete the bold reforms initiated to restructure the energy sector.
He expressed dismay that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit is one of the main constraints to industrial development and national competitiveness, stressing that estimates indicate that the country’s infrastructure constraint costs the country around four per cent of its yearly Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He explained that given the huge infrastructure need, which is about $100 billion yearly for the next 30 years, the time has come to create an enabling environment for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to close Nigeria’s infrastructure gap.
Adesina who was represented by the Director-General, AfDB Group, Nigeria Country Department, Mr. Lamin Barrow, added that AfDB was supporting the government’s efforts in addressing the infrastructure deficit through the development of both national and regional infrastructure.
In the energy sector, he said the AfBD’s support would help improve access and reliability of electricity supply by attracting private sector participation.
According to him, the $256 million and $200 million financing, respectively for the Nigeria Transmission Expansion Project (NTEP-1) and the Nigerian Electrification Project (NEP) would contribute to the strengthening of the transmission network and promote off-grid solutions.
He explained that the bank’s $430m support for the Enugu-Bamenda road linking Nigeria and Cameroun, expected to be completed this year, would enhance trade between West Africa and Central Africa.
He added: “We are working closely with the ECOWAS Commission and the concerned countries to finalize the feasibility studies for the landmark Abidjan-Lagos Highway.
“We expect the construction of the corridor to commence next year. This highway will link 85 per cent of the trade volumes in ECOWAS, supporting the rollout of new flagship programs such as the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) and Nigeria Innovation Program (Digital Nigeria) to unleash the potential of the economy. These will be complemented by enhanced policy dialogue to consolidate Nigeria’s strategic position as the bulwark for the regional economy.”
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