AfDB approves new country strategy for Nigeria

Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved Nigeria’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2020-2024, which builds on the successes and challenges of the 2013-2019 edition. The bank’s Communications and External Relations Department in a statement on Friday said the strategy was approved on May 27. It stated that the approval also incorporated emerging developmental realities and opportunities shaping Nigeria’s political and economic landscape, including the post-COVID-19 period. The statement quoted Mr Ebrima Faal, Senior Director for AfDB in Nigeria, as re-affirming the institution’s support for Nigeria’s socio-economic advancement.

“In the implementation of the CSP, the Bank will also support Nigeria to address economic shocks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price shocks. We will do this by focusing our interventions in sectors that will strengthen public health infrastructure and accelerate efforts towards economic transformation and diversification of export earnings and fiscal revenues from oil,” Faal said. The bank noted that the 2020-2024 CSP identified supporting infrastructure development and promoting social inclusion through agribusiness and skills development as key priority areas for Nigeria. According to AfDB, these priorities have been selected to leverage Nigeria’s rich endowment of natural and human resources toward transforming the lives of its people. It added that in this context the new CSP had been customised to support government efforts in confronting challenges and to foster long-term, socially inclusive development.

“Under the CSP, the Bank will deploy a combination of sovereign and non-sovereign financing instruments to support the two priority areas, including investment and institutional support projects, evidence-based analytical work in numerous economic sectors, policy dialogue and provision of advisory services.

“Special focus will be put on supporting the Nigerian private sector, in terms of financing and advisory services, and on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) initiatives that enable innovative, long-term investment in energy, transport and water, and sanitation. The Strategy Paper is the result of participatory consultations with a range of key stakeholders, both state and non-state actors as well as bilateral and multilateral development partners. The CSP is fully aligned with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy, the High 5 priorities and Nigeria’s own Economic Reform and Growth Plan (ERGP), as well as the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As of December 2019, the Bank Group’s active portfolio in Nigeria comprised 61 operations, with a total commitment of about five billion dollars. Of the total active operations, 29 were in the public sector, with a commitment of two billion dollars (43 percent) and 32 non-sovereign operations with a total commitment of three billion dollars, equivalent to 57 percent of the total portfolio,” the bank explained. (NAN)

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