Adeosun: AfDB provided us with $1bn support during recession

Dr Akinwumi Adesina
Dr Akinwumi Adesina
Author

20 January, 2018

Launching the 2018 African Economic Outlook on Wednesday, the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, made a compelling case for accelerating Africa's industrialisation in order to create jobs, reduce poverty and promote inclusive economic growth.

"The bank's support will help the government's reform agenda, provide further fiscal space to help the most vulnerable segments of the population, and improve the quality of life and well-being of its citizens", Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Acting Director of the bank's Governance and Public Finance Management Coordination Unit, said in a statement by AFDB.

New infrastructure financing gap estimates and innovative ways through which African countries can raise funds for infrastructure development are among the highlights of the 2018 edition of the report. The first tranche of $600m has been fully disbursed and utilised.

"President Buhari, represented at the ceremony by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said:" During Nigeria's challenging moment in 2016, we approached the bank for intervention and the intervention was swift with the approval of $1 billion.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) yesterday said its $1 billion emergency lifeline approval support to Nigeria past year was what helped to pull the country out of recession, the country's worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

She said the bank provided the lifeline at the time that it was hard to secure budget support loan from anywhere as the country struggled with the 2015 to 2016 economic recession.

"From our perspective, our investments can only increase, as we expect levels to reach $8 billion by 2019", Adesina said.

This development is believed to be a consolidation in the country's position as the bank's largest shareholder, with a portfolio of $6 billion and country operations accounting for 13 percent of the bank's total portfolio.

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"The signaling effect of that singular act gave the country's foreign reserves the much needed boost which helped to stabilise the Nigerian Naira".

The minister said that Nigeria in particular needed the AfDB and its programme of the High Five's which encompassed investing more in infrastructure, agriculture, education, health care and increased access to affordable energy and water.

The African Development Bank had previously collaborated closely with other development partners, such as the the World Bank, where it financed $1.15 billion in December.

The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, thanked the Government of Nigeria for its very strong support.

He said that the relationship between the bank and Nigeria was stable and dependable.

The Bank, he added, is providing USA $263 million toward the rehabilitation of basic livelihoods in the northeast, with the expectation of providing water, sanitation, hygiene and health services that will benefit 14 million people, including 1.9 million Internally Displaced Persons. "We were there in the down time, we will also be there for Nigeria in the up time!"

At the same time, the banks's chief economist Céléstin Monga says the report also proposes a menu of financing instruments all countries on the continent can tap in to.


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