The African Development Bank (AfDB) is collaborating with other development partners and financial institutions to deploy instruments such as direct lending, equity, and de-risking facilities to help the government implement investment policies in the country.
The assurance was given by Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, yesterday as a panellist at a one day investors’ webinar to highlight investment opportunities in the Federal Government’s reform and privatisation activities.
While the Federal Government has spearheaded various reforms in the banking sector that have increased the resilience of the financial system, he believes that the bold reforms initiated to restructure the energy sector must be completed.
He voiced his disappointment that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit is one of the biggest hurdles to industrial development and national competitiveness, noting that estimates show the country’s infrastructure limitation costs the country roughly 4% of its yearly GDP (GDP).
He said that, given the massive infrastructure need, which is estimated to be $100 billion per year 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 Mr Lamin Barrow, Director-General, AfDB Group, Nigeria Country Department, added that the AfDB was assisting the government in addressing the infrastructure deficit through the development of both national and regional infrastructure.
In the energy sector, he stated that the AfBD’s assistance would help improve access and reliability of electricity supply by attracting private sector participation.
According to him, the $256 million and $200 million financings, 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.”