The African Development Bank (AfDB) has called for the review of Nigeria’s 2013 to 2017 development strategy to incorporate the Federal Government’s priorities in different sectors of the economy.
Mr Charles Boamah, the bank’s acting First Vice President and Vice President of Finance, stated this on Thursday after his team held a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja.
Boamah told State House correspondents after the meeting that the meeting focused on how best AfDB could assist the present administration in the effective implementation of its development priorities as contained in the 2016 budget.
“If we are here this morning it is because, one, we came here to meet the Vice President to essentially have a conversation around the development priorities of the government and how best the AfDB can assist the Federal Republic of Nigeria in these development priorities.
“We have very long, of course very rich relationships with Nigeria.
“This is just a continuation of that dialogue.’’
The AfDB chief said that the team would in two days have the opportunity to meet several ministers in the country.
“We will have several meetings across the various sectors where we will have in-depth conversations about what is happening in the different sectors, some of the reforms that are being made in the different sectors.
“And how best we the AfDB can assist in the reforms and in the financing of the projects and programmes that these sectors are looking to implement over the next few months and years.’’
According to Boamah, AfDB has a strategy which it developed in collaboration with the Federal Government which runs through 2013 t0 2017.
“We are sort of midstream in that strategy for Nigeria and this conversation also helps us to do a revision of that strategy taking into account some of the priorities that the government has and will be describing in more detail to us.
“Of course, this also takes into account the emerging challenges in the global landscape.
“You all know the significant decline in oil prices and the effect on government revenues which calls for more creative solutions to address the development financing needs of Nigeria.
“We are looking into all of these.’’
Boamah said the AfDB looked forward to very rich conversations that would lead to improvement in the nature of the programmes and projects to be implemented over the next months and years.
He noted that the response of Osinbajo was very positive during their interaction.
“I think the general sense is that this is a very timely visit in the sense that the budget for 2016 has many elements in it.
“Many of the things in the budget, whether it is in the capital expenditure , some of the issues on social protection are many of the things that we are looking to dialogue on.
“So this is a very timely conversation that will lead to working much closer together to essentially help the Federal Republic of Nigeria address the many challenges and improve the living conditions of Nigerians as a whole.’’
According to reports that Nigeria is the largest shareholder in the AfDB.
NAN also reports that the high-powered AfDB mission will also scale up and intensify its engagements in line with its Hi-5 priorities such as lighting up and powering Africa; feeding Africa; industrialising Africa; and improving the quality of life for Africans. (NAN)