By Babajide Komolafe
African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged to support efforts to resolve the infrastructure problem in Nigeria.
“The AfDB is prepared to lend its support to resolve this problem, in close collaboration with the Nigerian private sector”, said Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President at the conclusion of a two day visit to Nigeria last week
“I’m leaving Nigeria’s satisfied with the quality of the discussions I had at all levels. Nigeria is a large country with huge potential, an economy that plays a leading role in the West African region. Like most African countries, Nigeria is suffering from a large deficit in infrastructure, particularly in energy”, he said
During this visit, he met with Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who reiterated his congratulations and support. “Nigeria is at your side to support you to continue the reforms you have undertaken,” said President Jonathan Goodluck.
In order to better understand Nigeria’s needs and assess the prospects for future AfDB Group operations in the country, the AfDB President also held talks with Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David B. A Mark, parliamentarians, the chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, the Minister of Finance Olesegun Agang, government officials, bankers, experts and business people.
During a meeting with the principal architects of Vision 2020, held at the Presidential Palace under the chairmanship of Vice-President Sambo, the Bank Group President took note on the needs expressed by the Nigerian authorities.
These requirements extend to all sectors, especially infrastructure (airports, roads, railways, ICT, energy), capacity building, industry, agriculture and rural development, governance, climate change, integration at federal and regional levels.
Vision 2020 aims at positioning Nigeria among the top 20 world economies. However, to achieve this goal, Nigeria must ensure an average in energy generation of 40,000 megawatts per day. To date, total electricity generation in Nigeria is 3,500 megawatts / day, against an estimated demand of 15,000 megawatts per day. The estimated investment in this sector to fill the gap amounts to the equivalent of USD 4 billion/year over the next 10 years.
Areas of intervention involved in Vision 2020 in Nigeria are in line with the AfDB Group Medium-Term Strategy. “I welcome the farsighted vision of the Nigerian authorities and the proper articulation of Vision 2020. The AfDB Group and Nigeria will work together for its realization, “said President Kaberuka.
Nigeria is a founding member of the AfDB. The country has access to both non-concessional (ADB) and concessional (ADF) resources. The AfDB has an office in Nigeria as part of its decentralization policy.