17 August 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The African Development Bank, AfDB, has invested $1.9 billion (N311.6 billion) in infrastructure development in Nigeria in the last 42 years, according to the Country Director, Dr Ousmane Dore.
Speaking in Abuja, Dore said the bank had committed a cumulative of 6.4 billion dollars (about N1.05 trillion) to different sectors of the country’s economy as at December 2013.
According to him, the current public sector portfolio of the bank stands at 921.2 million dollars (about N151 billion) of which 701.5 million (about N115 billion) is allocated to infrastructure projects.
Dore said that the bank had been supporting infrastructure development since it commenced lending operations in Nigeria in 1972, adding that over 70 per cent of the bank’s operations were directed at infrastructure development.
In 42 years, AfDB has invested $1.9 billion (N311.6 billion) in infrastructure development in Nigeria.
He said some of the bank’s early support to infrastructure development since it commenced lending in Nigeria in 1972 included the reconstruction of Enugu and Calabar Airports, launched in 1972 and 1974 respectively.
Dore said the bank’s operations had expanded to include several other projects in water and sanitation; road and energy.
“Some of the flagship projects include rural water and sanitation project in Akwa Ibom and Taraba States, while in the transport sector we have the Cross River Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) and the Enugu-Bamenda Highway.
“This is the hard core infrastructure but on the private sector side, we have many; like our investment in Lekki Toll Road and some other private sector operations.”
He said the bank had also been involved in “soft infrastructure” in the form of improving knowledge on the state of infrastructure in the country.
Dore said the bank undertook a detailed assessment of infrastructure needs in Nigeria that culminated in the Nigerian Infrastructure Action Plan, NIAP.
He explained that the study recommended 350 billion dollars in Capital Expenditure, CAPEX, investment for the next 10 years, to bridge the existing infrastructure gap in the country.
Dore stated that the establishment of ‘Africa50 Fund’ aimed at accelerating infrastructure delivery in Africa, would work with Nigeria to reduce the country’s infrastructure finance gap.
According to him, `Africa50 `Fund’ will act as one-stop shop, combining early stage project development work with long-term debt financing, to ensure smooth and efficient path from project inception to realisation.