AfDB spends $258m on infrastructure in Northeast

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has spent $258 million in the rehabilitation of infrastructure damaged by Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast of Nigeria.

The President of AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, told journalists at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday that the affected areas of intervention included health, education, sanitation and water.

These facilities, he explained were damaged or destroyed as a result of the destructive activities of the insurgents in the region.

“We have also invested heavily in the northeast of Nigeria. We have put in almost 258 million dollars to support the rehabilitation both in terms of health, education, sanitation and water as a way of reviving areas that have been battered,’’ he said.

Adesina, who had earlier met behind closed-doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa, said the bank had also invested heavily in mobilizing funds for the country.

He revealed that the African Investment Forum which was organised by the bank in 2018 had succeeded in mobilizing about $38.7 billion of investments to African.

Adesina reported that about $7.1 billion of the amount would be invested in Nigeria.

Adesina, who commended President Buhari for his support to the AfDB, pledged that the bank would continue to support Nigeria in its efforts to boost power supply.

“We are in the period of general capital increase for the bank and with that support, we believe you will see a different Africa completely under this new general capital increase of the bank.

“One of the things that we said was that Nigeria’s contribution under the last general capital increase of the bank was 360 million dollars but we lend to Nigeria 4.5 billion dollars, almost 15.5 percent.

“Every dollar that Nigeria gives to the bank, we lend 15 dollars in return, so it’s a great investment.

“I assured Mr. President that under the new general capital increase of the bank, we are talking to our investors about this, so if we get enough money, hundreds of people will be connected to electricity,’’ he stated.

On the new strategy Nigeria needed to get power sector right, Adesina said: “The country needs to get the tariff structure right because if you don’t have good cost reflective tariff structure, investments from private sector becomes very difficult in the energy sector’’.

The AfDA president also stressed the need to address the liquidity constraints in the power sector.

“We in the bank have invested over 400 million dollars in the transmission company of Nigeria to support it.

“But at the end of the day it’s to diversify the energy sector that we have.

“We have gas here, we should use a lot of those gas; we also have hydro and solar. The African Development Bank is investing heavily right now in the north, in the Jigawa area in solar projects.

“So, God is good to Africa and He gave us tremendous amount of sunshine, water, everything is good for Africa, all we need to do is take a cable and connect to the sun and we will be fine.

“So, we just have to optimize the renewable energy potential that we have,’’ he added. (NAN)

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