By Cecilia Ologunagba
Dr Adewumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AfDB), says the bank’s total active portfolio in Nigeria is over six billion dollars.
Adesina said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
“The bank supports Nigeria very strongly.
“When Nigeria was going through a tough economic time, we led the world actually in rallying support around for a budget support which we did at 600 million dollars to help build more resilient economy as it shows a better diversified economy.
“If you look at our total active portfolio in the country now, it is over 6 billion dollars.
“Take for example, we invested over 300 million dollars from the private sector part of the bank in Dangote industries – Petro-chemical industries and the fertiliser manufacturing companies.
“We also invested over 100 million dollars in the Indorama fertiliser companies as well; they are looking at us to do more, additional 100 million dollars for them.’’
In addition, he said the Bank had been supporting the recovery effort of the Federal Government in the North East.
He, however, commended President Buhari for the investment made so far in rebuilding the North East.
“I give the President kudos for all that has been achieved. We have to rebuild the infrastructure – road, schools etc
“We have Basic Livelihood Support Programme for over 250 million dollars that we have done for the North East of Nigeria.
“On agriculture, the Board has just approved a programme called Enable Youth.
“The programme is to create a generation of young commercial farmers in Nigeria; that is about 430 million dollars we are investing in that.’’
Adesina, who won the 2017 World Food Laureate Award in Agriculture in the U.S., further said that the Bank had been doing a lot of line credit in Nigeria for commercial banks to lend to small and medium size enterprises.
He said that the Bank had been talking with the Minister of Power about how to help in the power sector in Nigeria.
“We have invested a lot in the transmission companies of Nigeria.
“ We are also helping them to have an additional 200 million dollars to post bonds, to be able to raise money to modernise the transmission network in Nigeria.
“I remember during COP 22 in Morocco, I spoke to the Minister of Power, Fasola and I told him to visit Noor Ouarzazate, the largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant in the World, that was financed by the AfDB in Morroco.
“He said he was very pleased with the idea and we are supporting his ministry now with a big project, we are going to do in Jigawa a project on Solar.
“We have a number of states that have approached us and we are looking at various opportunities of supporting from Ogun, we are looking into that; we are looking at Kaduna, Kano states and others.
“Nigeria is a big market for us and we are going forward in terms of our planning investment over the next three years.
“ It will be over 4.1 billion dollars that we are planning for Nigeria that will cover agriculture, infrastructure, power sector, basic livelihood in terms of water and sanitation,’’ he said.
Adesina, however, expressed optimism over the implementation of the bank projects in Nigeria, adding that there was a very stringent monitoring system to ensure implementation of set targets.
“We are quite pleased with a lot of progress I have seen on several of the projects that we have in Nigeria.
“Obviously, a lot of improvement is needed in terms of the time it takes to actually sign some of the required agreements; it takes a lot of time.
“We are going to do better because the more we can do that, the more we can actually show better impact in Nigeria.
“Having talked to the authority to help us improve the time, it takes between when we approve something and when it is signed, it becomes effective in Nigeria.” (NAN)