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Amidst COVID-19 Concerns, Nigeria’s New 5-year Strategy Gets AfDB Nod

The African Development Bank, on Friday, announced the approval of Nigeria’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2020-2024 by its Board of Directors.

The approval granted on May 27, 2020, according to a statement by the bank, builds on the successes and challenges of the 2013-2019 strategy, while incorporating emerging developmental realities and opportunities shaping the nation’s politico-economic landscape, including in the post-COVID-19 period.

A statement by Olufemi Terry of the AfDB’s Communication and External Relations Department, quoted Ebrima Faal, Senior Director for the bank in Nigeria, as re-affirming its support for Nigeria’s socio-economic advancement.

According to him, “in the implementation of the CSP, the bank will also support Nigeria to address economic shocks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price shocks by focusing our interventions in sectors that will strengthen public health infrastructure and accelerate efforts towards economic transformation and diversification of export earnings and fiscal revenues from oil.”

The 2020-2024 CSP identifies supporting infrastructure development and promoting social inclusion through agribusiness and skills development as key priority areas for Nigeria.

These priorities have been selected to leverage Nigeria’s rich endowment of natural and human resources toward transforming the lives of its people, adding that the new CSP has been customized to support government efforts in confronting challenges and to foster long-term, socially inclusive development.

Under the CSP, the AfDB will deploy a combination of sovereign and non-sovereign financing instruments to support the two priority areas, including investment and institutional support projects, evidence based analytical work in numerous economic sectors, policy dialogue and provision of advisory services.

Special focus will be put on supporting the Nigerian private sector, in terms of financing and advisory services, and on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) initiatives that enable innovative, long-term investment in energy, transport and water and sanitation, the statement assured.

The Strategy Paper is the result of participatory consultations with a range of key stakeholders, both state and non-state actors as well as bilateral and multilateral development partners.

The CSP is fully aligned with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy, the High-five priorities and Nigeria’s own Economic Reform and Growth Plan (ERGP), as well as the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As of December 2019, the bank put its active portfolio in Nigeria at 61 operations, with a total commitment of about $5bn, of which 29 were in the public sector, with a commitment of $2bn (43%). The other 32 non-sovereign operations have a total commitment of $3bn, equivalent to 57% of the total portfolio.

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