President Buhari Receives ICAO, AFDB Delegations

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received representatives of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) at the State House in Abuja.

Both delegations were led by President of the Council of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr Olumuyiwa Aliu, and AFDB Vice President, Mr Pierre Guislain.

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2016 Budget: FG Urges AfDB To Fast Track Loan Pledge

2016 budget, AfDBThe Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has appealed to the African Development Bank(AfDB) to fast track the one billion dollars loan facility it promised the country as support for the 2016 budget.

The loan is expected to cover the 35 per cent shortfall in the 2016 budget.

Senator Udoma made this appeal on in Abuja during a meeting with an AfDB team over the weekend

The Minister said: “I want to thank you for the support. We value the relationship with AfDB and we appreciate the budget support. We want AfDB also to fastrack the loan facility”.

Senator Udoma while giving an overview of the government’s plan to reflate the economy and spend out of the recession, said that the government was trying to contain the militancy in the Niger Delta which had affected oil production in the country.

The government hopes to restore production to 2.2 million barrels per day at the end of the year.

“The government is committing money into infrastructure development, processing of export zones, and also providing loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at a single digit to support farming in Nigeria,” he stated.

According to the Minister, the Economic Recovery Plan is designed to consolidate and harmonise all the sectoral plans in a single document and set out in broad detail an integrated roadmap for the growth and sustainability of the country’s economy, and is also a part of the commitment the Federal Government made with Nigerians, whether there was a recession or not.

Also at the meeting was the Director General of the Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze and he said that what the government was doing differently concerning budget releases, was that it had shifted from the old practice of releasing monies quarterly but on specific request which are tied to projects.

Mr Akabueze said that so far over 750 billion had been released for capital projects.

He says hopes are high that revenue will improve in the second half of the year as the Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS) and the Customs will do better, having overcome some of the challenges faced in the first half of the year.

The Acting Director for Governance and Reform, Mr Coulibaly, who spoke earlier said that the AfDB team came to seek further clarification on policy reforms, level of budget implementation, as it touches capital budget releases.

He also stated that they wanted the Minister to highlight if there was any new policy introduced in the 2017 budget and updates on the Social Protection Policy.

AfDB Offers Nigeria Over Four Billion Dollar Lifeline

AfDBAs Nigeria battles with economic recession and the dire need to raise funds, particular foreign exchange, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is looking to provide over $4billion dollars between 2016 and 2017.

President of the bank and Nigeria’s former agriculture minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina who is on his first official visit to Nigeria in his capacity as president of the AfDB says the funds would be used to develop the power and agriculture sectors in the country.

Dr. Adesina was speaking after holding talks with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital.

The plan includes; $1 billion of budget support, $300 million to create jobs for 185,000 youths, $250 million towards northeast infrastructure development, and $1 million grant to deal with challenges of internally displaced persons (IDPs),

It also includes $300 million for infrastructure development around Abuja, and $200 million for Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to deepen electricity facilities.

While holding talks with the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Dr Adesina had said that “deepening the level of diversification in critical sectors” such as agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing, was of particular importance.

“I expect that our portfolio in Nigeria will not decrease – it will actually grow. We expect to invest in Nigeria, by 2019, a total of $10 billion,” said Adesina,

The Finance Minister allayed fears that the country could be over-borrowing. “What we are trying to do is to ensure that this money we are borrowing, we use it on the key infrastructure that will drive the economy,” she said.

We’ll Get Out Of Our Problems, Buhari Assures African Development Bank

Akinwumi-Adesina-Buhari-CTVPresident Muhammadu Buhari has given the assurance that Nigeria has the people and the resources to surmount her economic problems.

He gave the assurance while receiving President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, at State House, Abuja, on Monday.

President Buhari said: “God has given us people and resources. It will take hard work on our part, but we will make it. 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.”

The President said the country appreciates helping hands being lent by the ADB, assuring Nigerian-born Adesina, who was the immediate past Minister of Agriculture, that “we will not let you down. Your country won’t disappoint you.”

Too Big To Fail

Adesina appreciated President Buhari for the support the country gave when he ran for ADB presidency, thus making him 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 ADB boss described recent economic decisions taken in the country as “bold, tough, uncomfortable, but right,” adding that Nigeria would reap the dividends in the short and long run.

Adesina-Buhari-Adeosun-CTV

“You can count on the ADB 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,” Adesina said.

Packages For Nigeria

The ADB President 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.

Abia Infrastructure: AfDB Partners With State Govt.

AFDB, AbiaThe African Development Bank (AfDB) has started the process of initializing the implementation of critical infrastructure developmental projects in Abia State with an inspection visit to some of the deplorable roads at Aba the commercial hub of the state.

The bank’s representative, Mwila Katabula, during a visit to the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, at the Executive Chambers of Government House, Umuahia, expressed their readiness to partner with the state in areas as stipulated by the government.

The aim is to upgrade and rehabilitate some collapsed roads amongst others so as to empower the people and thereby boosting and enhancing economic development of the state.

At the Obohia Road, the need to de-congest the city centre and issue of water challenge was at the front burner.

But at Ngwa Road Market, the road infrastructure had totally collapsed, as flood had entered most of the shops. The traders had to sweep the water out; a situation they hoped would end soon.

The partnership would allow the state assess a grant-aid of 200 million dollars to rebuild infrastructure but only when all the adequate facility as penned down by the bank are put in place.

It was the second visit of the team of Africa Development Bank to Abia State, after the last visit in 2014, this time to continue with the discussion in areas of work implementation.

African Leaders Put Development Ahead Of Climate Change

Yemi Osinbajo Nigeria VP on Africa's development and climate changeAfrican leaders at the African Development Bank meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, have agreed to prioritise the development of energy sources, with the maximum use of fossil fuel and coal, even as they advance important issues around climate change.

The leaders say the African continent cannot afford to miss out on the fourth industrial revolution, having missed out of industrial development in the past.

Light Up Africa

They observed that the greatest hitch to Africa’s development was lack of energy to power its growth and that the continent was tired of living in the dark.

An Anglo meeting they call it, with discussions focused on energy to light up Africa over the next decade and the impact of climate change on Africa.

Heads of government from all 54 African countries and beyond are interested in accelerated growth in the continent which has been hinged on energy, the absence of which Africa has remained behind in global development.

Amidst the need for development, climate change is a major concern.

Africa is said to be the continent that will continue to be affected as the global warming effects worsen, but the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said development must come first with Africa’s natural resources harnessed.

“For us here, development must come first.

“What we really need is for our fossil fuel solutions – coal fired plants, hydro-power- and that is why we are saying at this conference that you can’t de-emphasise our natural resource endowments, especially if we want to advance in technology.

“We must prioritise development because poverty kills thousands of people just as climate change does,” Professor Osinbajo said.

The Prime Minister of Tanzania, Kassim Majaliwa, stressed that there were also other needs that must be tackled to light up Africa and stem the impact of climate change.

Discussions so far at the meeting showed that African leaders will put steam to development on the continent with energy on the frontline, but they also have the task of persuading the rest of the world for more support in climate finance, expertise and technology.

That way development in Africa will go hand in hand with stemmed environmental impact.

AfDB President Tasks Africa On Alternative Power Generation

Akinwunmi Adesina, AfDB, Africa, PowerThe President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has asked African nations to explore other sources of generating power.

He is also urging countries to device other means to move faster and unlock all the potential energy mix which lie untapped across the continent if Africa must meet the 10 gigawatts of electricity by 2020.

Light Up And Power Africa

Dr. Adesina told reporters on Monday at the 2016 AfDB meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, that Africa was currently seating on at least 11 terawatts of unutilised solar energy, 350 gigawatts of hydro and 150 gigawatts of wind power that must be unlocked.

He said proper planning of Africa’s power development was urgently required and attention must be paid to three key needs for power which are light, base load for industries and clean cooking.

Board of governors and officials from 80 member countries on the continent will converge over the next five days for the 51st AfDB’s annual meeting, with a key focus on energy and climate change. It will also focus on one of the regional bank’s high five priority areas which is to ‘light up and power Africa’.

Ninety-six per cent of Zambia’s nearly 2,400 megawatts of electricity is said to be sourced from hydro-power while Nigeria’s all time high of 4600 megawatts comes from hydro-power and gas.

In both countries, as in other African countries, other sources of power such as solar, coal, biomass, lignite and oil remain largely untapped.

With the 10 gigawatts target for Africa by 2020, African countries must hasten to meet the ‘light up and power Africa’ objective with the support of the African Development Bank.

AFDB Injects $8.2m Into Shelter Afrique

shelter afriqueThe Africa Development Bank (AFDB) has injected 8.2 million dollars in pan-African finance institution, Shelter Afrique.

In a statement, the bank says the injection aims to strenghten its balance sheet and aid the realisation of affordable housing in Africa.

It further highlighted that Africa’s economic landscape and its promising scope for growth are some of the factors driving the increased demand for affordable houses.

With the fund, the AFDB expects Shelter Afrique to help meet the continent’s growing population housing demands.

Shelter Africa is recognised for its exclusive supports in the development of housing in the continent.

2016 Budget: Minister Clarifies Strategy For Foreign Loans

Kemi Adeosun on budgetNigeria’s Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, on Monday, gave further clarifications on the strategy for foreign loans being explored to fund the 2016 budget.

In a statement, by the spokesperson for the Minister, Mrs Adeosun said that the overall objective of the loan was to provide the lowest possible cost of funds to finance capital projects proposed under the government’s plan to stimulate the economy.

“These capital projects include power, transport, road, housing among others”, it read.

The Minister also explained that options with multi-lateral agencies including the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) were being explored.

Multilateral agencies provide loans on concessional terms, which include low interest, moratorium before repayment and long tenure.

The second funding option being explored is Export Credit Agencies such as China Exim Bank.

These funds are also concessional and are tied to specific capital projects.

Mrs Adeosun said that the need to invest in infrastructure to stimulate the economy and the long-term payback period of capital projects demands that the lowest cost of funds be obtained.

The Minister of Finance stated that the balance of foreign borrowing required would be raised in the Eurobond market at commercial rates of interest.

She explained that by blending these different sources of funding, the overall cost of funds would be maintained at the lowest possible level.

“As far as possible, our foreign borrowing will be tied to specific capital projects. A number of these projects are revenue generating which would be used to fund the loan repayments.

“The strategy of pursuing increased foreign borrowing is designed to ensure that the Federal Government does not “crowd out” the private sector in the domestic market,” the Minister stated.

The Federal Government presented to the National Assembly a budget of 6.08 trillion Naira with a 2.2 trillion Naira deficit and a 1.8 trillion Naira borrowing requirement.

The budget is predicated on a $38 per barrel oil benchmark which is less than the current market price.

Nigeria Has Not Applied For Emergency Loans, Says Finance Minister

LoansThe Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has refuted a report suggesting that Nigeria has applied for emergency loans from World Bank and African Development Bank (AFDB).

A statement made available by her Special Adviser on Media Matters, Mr Festus Akanbi, revealed that Nigeria did not apply for any emergency loan.

The statement quoted the Minister as saying “the truth is that Nigeria, as part of the plans to fund the 2016 budget currently undergoing the approval process of the National Assembly, has indicated an intention to borrow N1.8trillion principally for investment in capital projects to stimulate the economy”.

The Finance Minister said that the option of the World Bank is to ensure an optimum financing structure, noting that the 2016 budget is part of the medium-term economic framework of the Federal Government, which the World Bank is aware of.

According to her, the proposed budget deficit will be funded equally through external and domestic sources.

Nigeria is exploring the options of multilateral agencies like the World Bank and AFDB and export credit agencies such as China Exim Bank due to their concessionary interest rates.

Mrs Adeosun said that the need to invest in infrastructure to stimulate the economy and the long-term payback period of capital projects demands that lowest cost of fund be obtained.

“Nigeria, as a member of World Bank Group is entitled to access available funds like every member-country,” she said.

New AfDB President, Adesina Resumes, Promises New Deal For Africa

afdb presidentThe new President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has promised that the bank will launch a new deal on energy for Africa.

In a speech after his investiture as the 8th President of the bank, Dr. Adesina said his administration would focus on equality and financial inclusion across the continent.

The AfDB President, who is Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Agriculture, underscored the need to rapidly transform agriculture into a business to speed up economic growth and lift millions of people out of poverty.

He announced that the AfDB would embark on innovative programmes and work within five priority areas, including the light up and power Africa project, feed Africa, integrate Africa, industrialise Africa and improve quality of life for the people of Africa.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who witnessed the investiture alongside President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire and some state governors, urged the bank to encourage good governance and increase efficiency of its programmes to address salient issues in health, education, unemployment and agriculture.

FG Borrows $1.6Bn To Aid Power Transmission

The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo said the Federal Government has borrowed $1.6 billion (about n240 billion) foreign loans for the expansion of power transmission facilities in the country.

The Minister said this, after a meeting of the Presidential Action Committee on Power (PACP) at the presidential villa.

The closed door meeting, which lasted for over two hours, was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, and it had in attendance the Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and several other ministers.

According to Professor Nebo, the loan is coming from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Euro Bond Issue and the Chinese Exim Bank.

He said: much of the deliberations cantered on expanding the transmission network in Nigeria to ensure that all the power generating plants that Nigeria is now building and commissioning, have adequate capacity to pull out power.