The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said that African Development Bank (AfDB) is strategic to African nations, particularly for the much-sought resource mobilisation.
However, she noted that only a strong and well-capitalised AfDB is capable of fulfilling its commitments to member-countries and impact meaningfully in the development of the nations.
Adeosun made the observations at the Regional Consultative Meeting between the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina and the bank’s governors and ministers of finance from West and Central Africa, yesterday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
At the meeting, which was the first consultations of its kind since the creation of the bank in 1963, the minister reiterated that a solid AfDB was required to assist the African countries to mobilise their internal resources.
Similarly, Adesina told the bank’s governors that the yearly meetings had hitherto been the only setting for group dialogue between the governors and the management of the bank.At the meeting, the governors and the AfDB senior management agreed to accelerate the implementation of the bank’s five strategic priorities which include: light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialise Africa, integrate Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa
To this end, there was call for an increase in capital mobilisation to allow the bank meet its mandates for Africa, in view of considerable reductions in official development assistance.
They admitted that the bank’s sixth capital increase, ratified in 2010, made it possible for it to take the volume of its loans to unprecedented levels, with aids to countries receiving AfDB financing increased 17 times.AfDB Treasurer and Acting Vice-President, Finance, Hassatou Diop N’Sele, reassured member-countries that the bank is financially strong.
Meanwhile, AfDB has condemned what it referred to as ‘ an unacceptably’ high level of poverty in Nigeria saying most of the country’s population now live below $2 a day as poverty has grown up to almost 80 per cent of Nigeria’s population as at last year.The bank’s declaration is contained in its Regional Country Report for 2018 launched yesterday.
The report listed Nigeria’s other serious economic challenges to include insecurity, low resource mobilization and the worst Value Added Tax rate in the world at five per cent.It however said there were growing opportunities as the recovery in oil prices and production will help drive growth and provide fiscal space as the government pursues important structural reforms to diversify the economy.
The report also believes that the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017–20) holds the promise of weaning the country off its dependence on oil, observing that the plan focuses on six priority sectors: agriculture; manufacturing; solid minerals, including iron, gold, and coal; services, including information and communication technology, financial services, tourism, and creative industries; construction and real estate; and oil and gas.
It also pointed out that the government has produced specific programs for each sector and defined broader growth policy enablers to drive the plan.
President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to commission the bank’s Regional Country Office in Abuja this morning.