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BUDGET DEFICIT: AfDB to rescue FG with $1b

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BUDGET DEFICIT: AfDB to rescue FG with $1b

The African Development Bank, AfDB, has said it would advance $1 billion facility to the Federal Government as budget support to fund the 2016 federal budget.

The President of the bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, stated this in Abuja on Monday when he led a delegation of the bank to visit President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House.

Aside the $1 billion budget support, the AfDB President, who is Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Agriculture, said the bank has also earmarked $300 million to create jobs for 185,000 youths, $250 million towards North East infrastructure development, $1 million grant to deal with challenges of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), $300 million for infrastructure development around Abuja, $200 million for Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to deepen facilities, among others.

Adesina, who appreciated President Buhari for supporting his candidacy for the presidency of the AfDB, also commended him for successes recorded in securing the country, particularly in the North East, adding that “there can be no development without adequate security.”

The former Nigerian minister, who said recent economic decisions taken in the country were “bold, tough, uncomfortable, but right,” insisted 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 said.

Adesina who said he delighted with President Buhari’s push against corruption, also announced that the AfDB was extending the sum of $4.8 million as institutional grant, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, getting $2 million and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, getting $1 million.

“You can always count on my support, and that of the ADB,” he concluded.

By Timothy Enietan-Matthews…..

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