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US agency to double commitment in Nigeria by $530m

By Gloria Nwafor
14 July 2020   |   3:09 am
The United States (U.S.) Development Finance Corporation (DFC), has reaffirmed plans to double its commitment in Nigeria with about $530 million.

The United States (U.S.) Development Finance Corporation (DFC), has reaffirmed plans to double its commitment in Nigeria with about $530 million.

The Corporation, which said it is currently on the active commitment of $530 million, said it is interested in agriculture, critical infrastructure, financial services, and healthcare sectors.

It maintained that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of its key focuses is to create a more resilient global healthcare system.

At a webinar programme, tagged; “US Project Financing Opportunities,” organised by the American Business Council in partnership with the U.S. Mission, Regional Director for Africa, DFC, Vibhuti Jain, said Nigeria is a priority country for the DFC.

She said the Corporation recognised robust financial opportunities, particularly the U.S. business which has tremendous potential for development.

She maintained that in Africa, the DFC has few priority areas for investment such as critical infrastructure backed with a programme called Connect Africa, through which it has committed to financing up to $1 billion in ICT, value chain and critical infrastructure.

With a capital exposure limit that has increased from $29 billion to $60 billion, Jain disclosed that DFC’s authorising legislation has increased focus on low-income economies, in which Nigeria and other countries in the sub-Saharan region are of particular importance to the DFC.

“We are committed to stronger collaborations with the U.S. Government and its agencies. DFC invests with the aim to increase development impact through job creation, empowerment of women and vulnerable groups; boosting economic growth and infrastructure development; and supporting financial inclusion,” she said.

Speaking also, Power Africa Country Manager for West Africa, US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), Claire Sierawski, reiterated the agency’s commitment to creating jobs in Nigeria through sustainable infrastructure development.

She spoke on some major tools vis-à-vis growth impact assessment, including financial models, fieldwork and geotechnical analysis, saying they are important and is achieved by supporting project preparation.

Sierawski said the agency provides grants between $500,000 and $1.5 million, depending on the project size.

Also commenting, Country Representative, West Africa, USTDA, Joshua Egba, said: “We want to create jobs in the U.S. through manufactured equipment and services. Our second main goal is sustainable infrastructure in emerging economies in the energy, transportation, ICT, healthcare and agribusiness sectors.

“Thirdly, we want to be building partnerships between US companies and Nigerian companies between both the US Government and the Nigerian Government.”