The African Development Bank has stated that its funding for development projects in Nigeria is worth around $4.4 billion which is the highest in Africa.
The Country Director of the AfDB Mr. Lamin Barrow disclosed this in Abuja during the Joint Country Portfolio Performance Review meeting between the bank and the Ministry of Finance, International Economic Relations department.
Mr Barrow further praised the federal government for its recent reforms including fuel subsidy removal, foreign exchange unification, etc.
In his words,
- “Currently, the Bank’s portfolio in Nigeria is one of the largest among the Regional Member Countries (RMCs), with a total commitment value of US$ 4.4 billion. These are comprised of 48 operations fairly evenly distributed between public and private sector operations. The presentations will provide more information on the profile and quality of the portfolio.”
- FEC’s approval of the Ekiti Knowledge Zone project
Speaking further, Mr. Barrow expressed delight at the improved submission rate of procurement plans which increased from 72% to 82%, and the FEC’s approval of the Ekiti knowledge zone project.
- “Since the 2022 CPPR Workshop, some of the portfolio performance metrics have improved. In particular, operations flagged for implementation challenges decreased from 36% in January 2023 to 32% in September 2023.
- This is a result of collective efforts from the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Executing Agencies, and the Bank to reduce start-up and implementation delays.
- Indeed, the time taken to meet loan effectiveness and first disbursement conditions tend to be excessive.”
- “Let me acknowledge the unprecedented recent development with the FEC approval of the Ekiti Knowledge Zone project.
- We are pleased that the share of start-up delays has been reduced from 32% of flagged operations in June 2023 to 28% in October 2023, and is expected to reach 8% by the end of 2023 with timely and targeted actions for some projects.”
Hindrances to AfDB’s Portfolio Performance
On his part, the Director of the International Economic Relations Department at the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Stanley George, noted that the AFDB portfolio’s smooth performance in Nigeria was hindered by extended implementation timelines, low disbursement rates, and inadequate communication with various MDAs.