By Suzzy Tolofari
Mr Ebrima Faal, the Country Director, African Development Bank (AfDB), said that the bank would focus mostly on power sector in 2018.
Faal said this during an interaction with newsmen at the newly-built Nigeria Country Department Office on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the new office, to be commissioned on Jan. 18, was the first structure to be designed and constructed from scratch.
“The 2018 programme of the bank is focusing mostly on power sector, we haven’t several solar projects that we are handling together with the world Bank and other partners.
” We are working together in some of these projects in Jigawa, Bauchi and Sokoto states among others.
“We also anticipate supporting the private sector in developing two large fertiliser plants for both internal and external use.
“There is a world class clinic of medical facilities called Santaclara Clinic located in Lagos, which we hope to finish.
” We are also working to provide lines of credit on cassava processing and agribusiness; those are the projects the bank will be supporting this year,” Faal said.
The Country Director said that the Bank was planning to install solar panels once the commissioning ceremony of its new building was completed on Thursday.
He said that the essence was to supplement the generation of more power that would allow the Bank to have additional sources to support both the building and the premises.
“We are in the process of installing solar thermal technology as additional source of cooling and lighting the new building and premises.
“We have already installed environmentally friendly chargers to charge electric cars for those that are using these type of cars.
“Last year was my first year, so when I came to Nigeria, we had already invested 1.6 billion dollars between the project support in the Northeast and some water projects,”he added.
He said that the Bank was working closely with Nigeria and ECOWAS to achieve results.
According to him, the Bank maintains a robust and unique partnership with the Federal Government, which has been instrumentally important in the growth of the institution as a shareholder.
He said that Nigeria was the largest shareholder with portfolio of over 5.5 billion dollars as at Dec. 31, 2017, accounting for 13 per cent of the bank total portfolio.
Faal said that in November 2009, the Bank’s Boards of Directors approved the project to acquire premises for Field Offices, adding that works commenced in November 2011.
He said that the detailed designs and tender documents were then finalised in August 2013.
According to him, the bid for construction has been launched in August 2013 but failed because the identified contractor failed to pass the due diligence checks.
He added that a new bidding process was then launched in May 2015, thatled to a conclusion of the contract.
Faal said that construction works commenced in January 2016 and the building was completed and furnished by September 2017.
He added that Nigeria Country Office started operating from the new building since Sept. 25, 2017.