AfDB has announced plans to give Nigeria the total of $4.1bn loan to boost investments and job creation in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Explaining more on the deal recently sealed during his visit to Abuja, President of the bank and former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina said the loan is coming on a 1.2% interest rate and is expected to be paid back within 20 years.
He said “If you look at the rate and time of repayment, you will see that it looks like a grant and that is to support the country during its trying period”.
“Secondly, we are going to be supporting Agriculture big time. Aside the loan, we plan to invest about $300mn in Agriculture in a programme we call ‘Enable Youths’, which a scheme designed to help develop a generation young commercial farmers in Nigeria and Africa in general.
He added further that “That there will be one thousand of them per state of the federation, and that will bring up the total to 37,000. Besides, each one of them is expected to create about five jobs and that will raise the scale of employment to about 187,000 to 220,000 or more”.
“The bank is aware that the North East has a particular challenge. Mr. President is really working very hard to tame insurgency and we at the bank are very sensitive to his efforts. We have seen the challenges there and the need reconstruction and we think we can support what the government is doing there.
Continuing, he announced that AfDB is going finance about $200mn in infrastructure delivery in the region so as to help bring back business and normal life for the victims, saying “Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) will get $1mn feeding intervention from the bank also”.
The bank expects its investments portfolio in Nigeria to increase from its present $4.6bn to $10bn by the year 2019. Besides, AfDB further project about $6.9bn private sector portfolio and public sector portfolio of $2.5bn within the period.