The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $1 billion loan to cover the deficits in Nigeria’s 2016 budget.
AfDB President, Akinwunmi Adesina told Journalists on Monday after meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other members of the Economic Management Team (EMT) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that the loan is at 1.2 per cent interest rate.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria will surmount her economic challenges, .
Receiving President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, at the State House in Abuja on Monday, Buhari said: “God has given us people and resources. It will take hard work on our part, but we will make it”.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying: “We will get out of our problems. We are determined to produce what we eat, and stop importation. We will also chase those who stole, and get them to refund.”
Buhari explained that the country appreciated helping hands being lent by the AfDB, assuring Adesina, the immediate past minister of Agriculture, that “we will not let you down. Your country won’t disappoint you.”
Adesina commended President Buhari for the support the country gave him when he ran for AfDB presidency, which made him to emerge as the first Nigerian to occupy such position since the bank was established in 1964.
He also lauded the Nigerian President for successes recorded in securing the country, particularly in the North East, noting that “there can be no development without adequate security.”
The AfDB boss described recent economic decisions taken in the country as “bold, tough, uncomfortable, but right,”
He said: “You can count on the AfDB as a true friend of Nigeria. You should support massive investment in infrastructure, and we are here to also support. Closing the infrastructure deficit will enable growth, and create employment. Nigeria is too big to fail”.
He unfolded the packages his institution has for Nigeria, which include; $1 billion of budget support, $300 million to create jobs for 185,000 youths, $250 million towards North East infrastructure development, $1 million grant to deal with challenges of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), $300 million for infrastructure development around Abuja, $200 million for Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to deepen facilities, among others.
Dr Adesina expressed delight with what he called “President Buhari’s push on anti-corruption, and stance on governance,” adding that building institutions was critical.
To that end, he said ADB would give a total of $4.8 million as grant for institutional support, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) getting $2 million, and $1million to Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
“You can always count on my support, and that of the ADB,” he concluded.
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