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AfDB Unveils Ambitious $2.7 Billion Plan for Nigeria Amidst Economic Challenges

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African Development Bank Allocates $134 Million for Emergency Food Production and Proposes Multi-Billion Dollar Loans and Agric Initiatives

In response to Nigeria’s pressing economic challenges, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is set to implement a comprehensive $2.7 billion plan, including emergency food production funds, economic support loans, and large-scale agric initiatives. AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina announced these measures during an interview with journalists in Lagos on Monday.

Emergency Food Production Fund:

The AfDB Board of Directors has approved $134 million for Nigeria to address the acute food shortage, triggered by inflation nearing 30% and challenges arising from last June’s fuel subsidy removal and exchange rate unification. This initiative aims to alleviate hunger protests in Nigerian states and recent attacks on grain warehouses in Abuja, Ogun, Niger, and Kaduna states.

Economic and Budget Support Loan:

Discussions are underway for a $1.7 billion economic and budget support loan, emphasizing AfDB’s commitment to assist Nigeria during this challenging period. The loan aims to strengthen Nigeria’s fiscal position, providing much-needed support in the face of economic hardships.

$1 Billion Agro-Industrial Processes:

Additionally, AfDB is set to launch a groundbreaking $1 billion agro-industrial processes program in 28 states. This initiative focuses on enhancing agricultural productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness. The program aligns with AfDB’s strategy to boost food production, with expected yields of five million metric tons of wheat, rice, cassava, and maize in 2024.

Adesina’s Confidence in Collaborative Solutions:

AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina expressed confidence that the collaboration with the Nigerian government would yield positive results. Highlighting the approved emergency food production plan, Adesina shared details of ongoing initiatives, such as supporting the cultivation of wheat, maize, rice, cassava, and soybeans across the country.

Tackling Food Inflation:

Adesina emphasized the importance of addressing food inflation, urging the government to focus on enhancing food supply. He highlighted the success of the electronic wallet system, a previously implemented program that efficiently distributed seeds and fertilizers to farmers via mobile phones.

Low-Interest Concessionary Financing:

Recognizing Nigeria’s economic challenges, Adesina stressed the need for low-interest concessionary financing. AfDB is planning a $1.67 billion economic and budget support loan to provide crucial financial assistance to Nigeria, subject to approval by the Board of Directors.

Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones:

AfDB’s commitment extends to launching a $1 billion program for special agro-industrial processes in 28 states. Adesina anticipates that these structural interventions will enhance agriculture’s productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness, offering a comprehensive solution to Nigeria’s economic woes.

In conclusion, the AfDB’s ambitious plan reflects a determined effort to address Nigeria’s immediate needs and lay the groundwork for sustained economic growth in the agricultural sector.