By Ismaila Chafe
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, on Monday in Abuja announced billions of dollars packages to address Nigeria’s economic crisis.
In a statement in Abuja, Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, said the AfDB president announced the packages during a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The AfDB President said that the packages included one billion dollars of budget support, 300 million dollars to create jobs for 185,000 youths and 250 million dollars towards North East infrastructure development.
Adesina also announced another one million dollars grant to deal with challenges of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), 300 million dollars for infrastructure development around Abuja, 200 million dollars for Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to deepen facilities.
On the recession in Nigeria,the AfDB boss described recent economic decisions taken in the country as “bold, tough, uncomfortable, but right”.
He added that Nigeria would reap the dividends in the short and long run.
“You can count on the AfDB as a true friend of Nigeria. You should support massive investment in infrastructure, and we are here to also support.
“Closing the infrastructure deficit will enable growth, and create employment.
“Nigeria is too big to fail,’’ Adesina assured.
He also expressed delight with “President Buhari’s push on anti-corruption and stance on governance’’.
To this end, he said, the AfDB would give a total of 4.8 million dollars as grant for institutional support to anti-graft commissions in the country.
He said two million dollars of the amount would go to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and one million dollars to Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
“You can always count on my support and that of the AfDB,” he said.
Adesina commended President Buhari for the support the country gave when he ran for AfDB presidency, thus making him the first Nigerian to occupy such position since the bank was established in 1964.
He also lauded the Nigerian president for successes recorded in securing the country, particularly in the North East, nadding that “there can be no development without adequate security’’.
Responding, President Buhari expressed appreciation for AfDB’s support to Nigeria.
“Nigeria has the people and the resources to surmount her economic problems.
“God has given us people and resources. It will take hard work on our part, but we will make it.
“We will get out of our problems.
“We are determined to produce what we eat and stop importation.
“We will also chase those who stole and get them to refund.’’ (NAN)