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AfDB set to assist Nigeria in tackling power problem

The Country Director, African Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Ebraima Faal, has said the bank would support Nigeria’s quest to find lasting solution to its power problem and its power recovery strategies.
Faal stated this in Abuja when he presented his letter of credence to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.
“We are looking at power project at the moment and we are discussing with the power ministry how best the bank can support the power recovery strategies,” he said.
According to him the bank has about two missions at the moment on how it can assist Nigeria in its quest to solve its power problem.
The country director did not however give details of the assistance to provide.
Faal also said that the bank was also going to empower 36,000 youths across 36 states of the federation through agriculture.
“On Agriculture we are also looking at youth empowerment programme, how to empower the youths in 36 states and essentially providing job for at least 36,000 youths and of course their extended family,” he said.
He said that the bank had been supporting and would continue to support Nigeria.
“On the contribution of the AfDB to Nigeria, we have a very large programme in Nigeria to match the size of the country; it is about six billion dollars
“It has grown significantly over the last few years; I think we have been investing about 1.5 billion dollars a year both in the public and private sectors.
“About 60 per cent of our portfolio is in the private sector, we have focus on agriculture, our priority area mainly is on power and feeding Africa which is agriculture,” he said.
According to him the bank also has focus on education.
“We have programme in the north, we have 200 million dollar programme in Yobe where we are looking at how the bank can help in this regard.
He said that Nigeria was the largest economic in the continent and the bank largest shareholder, adding that the relations between Nigeria and the bank was critical from any point of view.
He expressed appreciation for the Nigeria’s support for the bank.
“We also appreciate the role Nigeria play in terms of the providing fund to the AfDB window, a trust fund through which Nigeria has been able to contribute immensely to support other countries,” he said.
Onyeama said that AfDB was very important institution not just for Nigeria but for Africa adding that the bank was absolutely important in this challenging economic time.
The minister said that the bank has the capacity to play a very important role in revitalising the economy of Nigeria and also of other African countries in general.
According to him it is also very vital in building a sustainable economic development in Nigeria and Africa.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of development bank in the development of Nigeria and other Africa,” he said.
He congratulated the new country representative and wished him success in his assignment in Nigeria.

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