AfDB high-level mission to Nigeria offers support for country’s economic growth and social development priorities

29/01/2016
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The African Development Bank conducted a high-level mission from Wednesday January 27 to Friday, January 29 to engage in policy dialogue with the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to ascertain its key development priorities. Recent economic challenges and headwinds have created an opportunity to address current and emerging development priorities and improve the business climate towards a stronger economy.

The team of Department Directors led by Charles Boamah, Acting First Vice-President and Vice-President, Finance, held discussions with Nigeria’s Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, who acknowledged that the AfDB mission was a timely intervention, coming at a time when planning and execution of key projects was on the forefront of the Administration’s agenda. Speaking on policy reforms and the Administration’s vision for a better Nigeria, Vice-President Osinbajo said that “The true wealth of Nigeria lies not in oil, but the character of the Nigerian. We will focus on building infrastructure to boost the enterprising nature of the Nigerian.”

Boamah agreed with the timeliness of the mission, adding that the Bank was also in the process of conducting a review of its 2013–2017 Country Strategy Paper. He assured the Vice-President that the AfDB team was in Nigeria to listen and support the Government in implementing the identified economic growth and social development priorities.

In a meeting with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa Dutse, discussions focused on conceptualizing new projects to make them bankable and also identifying actions to expedite implementation of existing projects by eradicating bottlenecks that have resulted in systemic slowdown in the past.

During a courtesy call on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Governor elaborated on the global economic shocks recently experienced and their effects on the Nigerian economy, particularly the drastic fall in oil prices. Diversification of the Nigerian economy to curb dependency on oil, he explained, is a top priority for the country.

The mission also held sector-based bilateral meetings with the Ministries of Power and Works, Women Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development, Education, Transport, Solid Minerals, Environment, Water Resources, Trade and Investment, the Federal Capital Territory, and the National Planning Commission.

This mission precedes AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina’s visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming weeks to consolidate future partnerships. These meetings will provide a platform to scale-up and intensify AfDB’s engagement in line with the its “High 5” development priorities to Light-up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Integrate Africa, Industrialize Africa and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.