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We will consider Nigeria’s $400m loan request – AfDB

Akinwumi Adesina, President AfDB

The African Development Bank on Tuesday said it could consider Nigeria for an additional $400m loan if such a request was approved by its Board. “An additional $400m in support could be considered, if requested and approved by the Board, as part of a larger coordinated effort with other development partners, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund,” the AfDB said in a statement issued by its Director, Communication and External Relations, Dr. Victor Oladokun.

The statement came on the heels of a report by Reuters on Monday in which a vice president of the AfDB was quoted as saying that the bank had called off a proposed $400m loan to Nigeria. The report had stated that the proposed $400m to be used to fund the budget, would now be used to fund directly specific infrastructural projects in Nigeria.

However, the AfDB said in the statement on Monday that it had “not called off loans to Nigeria.” The statement read in part, “The African Development Bank wishes to categorically refute the statement that it has called off loans to Nigeria as reported in Reuters and credited to the AfDB Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott. “The African Development Bank is highly encouraged by the economic recovery of Nigeria from recession and salutes the government’s efforts towards diversification of the economy. “The bank also strongly supports the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan of the government and efforts to stem corruption and strengthen fiscal consolidation and efficiency.”

The statement added that the AfDB was in consultation with the Federal Government on how best to continue its support for “its laudable Economic Growth and Recovery Plan through investment projects that will help address existing structural challenges, including infrastructure, power, agriculture and support to boost private sector and job creation.” “The bank assures the Nigerian government of its full support for its continued reforms to diversify the economy and boost economic growth and development,” it noted.

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The Board of the AfDB had in November 2016 approved $600m loan to support Nigeria’s efforts to cope with macroeconomic and fiscal shocks that arose from the massive decline in price of crude oil.

The AfDB had been in talks with Nigeria for around a year to release the second tranche of $400m of a $1bn loan to shore up its budget for 2017, as the government tried to reinvigorate the economy with heavy spending.

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