The African Development Bank (AfDB) has assured that in the implementation of Nigerian’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP), the Bank will also support country to address economic shocks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price shocks by focusing 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.
A fortnight ago, the AfDB approved Nigeria’s CSP 2020-2024, which builds on the successes and challenges of the 2013-2019 edition, and incorporates emerging developmental realities and opportunities shaping Nigeria’s political and economic landscape, including in the post-COVID-19 period.
The 2020-2024 CSP identifies supporting infrastructure development and promoting social inclusion through agribusiness and skills development as key priority areas for Nigeria. These priorities have been selected to leverage Nigeria’s rich endowment of natural and human resources toward transforming the lives of its people. It is in this context that the new CSP has been customized to support government efforts in confronting challenges and to foster long-term, socially inclusive development.
Re-affirming the institution’s support for Nigeria’s socio-economic advancement, AfDB Senior Director, Ebrima Faal, said 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.
He explained that 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 at December 2019, the Bank group’s active portfolio in Nigeria comprised 61 operations, with a total commitment of about $5 billion. Of the total active operations, 29 were in the public sector, with a commitment of $2 billion (43%) and 32 non-sovereign operations with a total commitment of $3 billion, equivalent to 57% of the total portfolio.
Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja