AfDB offers $1bn budget support facility to Nigeria

Timothy Choji, Abuja

The African Development Bank AfDB has commended the Nigerian government for taking the necessary steps to address the recession.

President of the Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina gave the commendation, while speaking to the media, shortly after a meeting with Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

He announced that the bank will assist Nigeria with a loan of one billion dollars, to help finance the 2016 budget.

Dr Adesina said Nigeria is currently facing a difficult time because of the fall in oil price and the bank had to step in to help the country overcome the challenge.

Dr Adesina noted that he had to come on an official visit to Abuja to discuss issues relating to the Nigerian economy because the country is the largest shareholder of the bank.

“It is very important for me to be here to talk to the Nigerian government about the challenges in Nigeria. I want to commend the government for being bold in taking the right decisions. We are here to support Nigeria very strongly with budget support. We are offering support of a billion dollars help Nigeria deal with the deficit that is there,” he said.

More Support

The President of the African Development Bank said he had a fruitful meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

After announcing the budget support facility of one billion dollars, he said Nigeria being the largest shareholder of the bank was facing a difficult situation that called for support from the bank in many other areas.

He assured that Nigeria would overcome its current issues and bounce back stronger.

“I just want to say that Nigeria is not falling apart. Nigeria is going to come out of this as a better more diversified and more resilient economy than it went through recession. I believe that. Nigeria is not in a debt crisis, if you look at the fiscal deficit of this country with regards to the GDP, it’s just about three or three point five percent which is way below the five percent of the fiscal responsibility act. If you look in terms of the debt to GDP ratio for Nigeria, it is 15 percent. There is no debt crisis in Nigeria; what you have is a liquidity problem and we are trying our best to help the country to drive down inflation and to also make sure we work with the government to provide the necessary incentives for the private sector because you cannot overcome recession without the private sector,” the President of the AfDB explained.

Dr Adesina then announced another support of over four billion dollars to Nigeria as he advised the country to deepen its level of diversification in critical sectors like agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing.

“The bank will provide between 2016 and 2017; in total the sum of $4.1bn to Nigeria in various areas; from power to infrastructure, to agriculture and the private sector for Small and Medium Enterprises finance lending,” Dr Adesina said.

He said the Bank will increase in portfolio in Nigeria in the next three years to more than ten billion dollars.

Good Relationship

In her remark, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, expressed appreciation for the support, as she said the country remained proud of Dr Adesina.

The Minister said there were many more areas of support from the bank because there was an alignment between it and Nigeria’s Economic Management Team.

“Most of the sectors and specific programmes that the bank has are the very areas that we feel we want to focus on for the growth of the economy but beyond that, there are a number of loans and initiatives around agriculture, job creation for the youth, solid minerals and women empowerment. We see the AfDB as a great partner so we are very happy to have them here,” the Minister said.

This is the first time Dr Adesina is visiting Nigeria officially, since he assumed duty last year as the President of the African Development Bank.

His visit will last three days.