African Development Bank (AfDB) is set to increase its loans to Nigeria by over $2 billion in 2018, as well as invest in Africa’s biggest economy’s energy, infrastructure and agriculture sectors.
Nigeria seeks to reduce its dependency on crude exports for two-thirds of government revenue and most of its foreign income, hence diversifying its economy by boosting agricultural output. In order to curb harvest losses in the West African country, AfDB intends to assist by setting up essential crop processing zones and creating agribusiness clusters across the country.
Regarding the loans, AFDB’s President, Akinwumi Adesina said “The total portfolio we have in Nigeria is $6 billion. We expect that by the year 2019, we will grow that into a little bit over $8 billion.”
“The Abidjan, Ivory Coast-based, lender will pump more than $800 million into Nigeria this year, most of which will fund investments in power. Among them is a $250 million support to revamp power-transmission lines and electricity sub-stations as well as fund a $200 million solar power project in Jigawa state in the north,” the bank President noted.
President Adesina added that “The $400 million balance from $1 billion loan for budget support will be disbursed directly to industries identified by the government after projects have been vetted by the bank.”
Having recovered from its worst economic decline in almost three decades, Africa’s most populous country will also receive budget support and public financial management assistance from the development bank.