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Economy: Africa Development Bank President Vows To Make Nigeria Powerhouse

President of African Development Bank (AfBD), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has vowed to use the bank to make Nigeria a powerhouse in African economy.

Speaking to news men today, Tuesday, shortly after an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Adesina said: “Nigeria is a big country. Nigeria has to be a power house and I am sure it will be.”

AfBD) President is satisfied and happy with the role the bank has played in reforming Nigeria’s economy, saying that even President Buhari is “very appreciative in the role we played in terms of the general budget support of the government.

“I believe the economic growth and reform programme that’s being done. I think Nigeria has come out of recession and I think we have to continue to push to have greater growth.”

Adesina stressed the need to ensure adequate power supply to engineer proper industrial development, saying: “without power you can’t do anything. Industries can’t develop without power. So I commend the efforts that are being made.

“There are three components. One I think we need to get the tariff structure because if you don’t have good cost reflective tariff structure, investments from private sector becomes very difficult in the energy sector.

“The second is liquidity constraints in the power sector should be addressed. We in the bank have invested over $400 million in the transmission company of Nigeria to support it. We have also provided risks guarantee to guarantee the risk of non-repayment to free up the liquidity constraints.

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“But at the end of the day, it is to diversify the energy subsets 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. 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.”

The AfDB boss said that as the bank entered the period of general capital increase, a different Africa is in the making through the support of the bank, under the 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 but we lend to Nigeria $4.5 billion, almost 15.5 percent. “Every dollar that Nigeria gives to the bank, we lend $15 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.