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April 17, 2024

AfDB Announces Economic Support Package Worth  $2.7b for Nigeria

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has announced an ambitious economic support package totaling $2.7 billion for Nigeria. 

This includes ongoing negotiations for a $1.7 billion economic and budget support loan, along with plans to initiate a $1 billion agro-industrial program across 28 states. 

Speaking to journalists in Lagos on Monday, Adesina outlined that this initiative aims at addressing the country’s economic challenges and enhancing agricultural productivity.

This development follows nationwide food shortages that sparked hunger protests and attacks on grain warehouses in Abuja, Ogun, Niger, and Kaduna states.

Adesina attributed the crisis partly to last June’s fuel subsidy removal and exchange rate unification policy, resulting in severe economic hardships, with inflation nearing 30 percent and a sharp depreciation of the naira.

However, Adesina assured journalists of AfDB’s commitment to supporting Nigeria through these challenges, outlining several agricultural initiatives aimed at enhancing food production.

He detailed plans to cultivate five million metric tons of wheat, rice, cassava, and maize this year, emphasizing the importance of addressing food inflation as a key driver of overall inflation in Nigeria.

To achieve rapid food production growth, Adesina recommended revisiting the electronic wallet system, which he implemented during his tenure as Minister of Agriculture. This system enabled direct distribution of seeds and fertilizers to farmers via mobile phones, significantly boosting food production. He also stressed the need for low-interest concessionary financing to address economic challenges, including issues surrounding the exchange rate.

In addition to emergency food production measures, AfDB is planning a $1.7 billion economic and budget support loan and a $1 billion agro-industrial program across 28 states. These initiatives aim to enhance agricultural productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness, ultimately driving economic growth and food security in Nigeria.

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