AfDB approves $134 million Agric loan for Nigeria

President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina
President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi AdesinaGoogle Photo

According to the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved $134 million for Nigeria to utilize as an emergency food production plan.

During an interview with journalists in Lagos on Monday, President of the AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, clarified that discussions are currently taking place for a $1.7 billion economic and budget support loan, along with the introduction of a $1 billion agro-industrial process in 28 states.

The development occurred amidst a severe food shortage that has resulted in hunger protests in Nigerian states, along with recent attacks on grain warehouses in Abuja, Ogun, Niger, and Kaduna states.

With weak consumer purchasing power, businesses have been impacted by the nation's low Gross Domestic Growth in the final quarter of the previous year.

Adesina informed journalists in Lagos that the AfDB had promised to aid Nigeria during this period, stating that various agricultural programs are projected to generate around five million metric tons of wheat, rice, cassava, and maize for the country this year.

With confidence, he stated that the development bank would collaborate with the Nigerian government to address the issues facing Africa's largest economy.

He said, “I’m not used to complaining; I’m used to finding solutions. When I spoke to the President last year, I made it clear that we would strongly support the Nigerian government in finding a solution to the challenges. Today, we have approved $134m for Nigeria to implement an emergency food production plan. It is what we are already doing, not something that we are planning to do.

However, the AfDB chief advised Nigeria to advocate for greater food supply, noting that food inflation is a key element of the nation's inflation rate and to address inflation, it is necessary to consider some of the structural drivers.

Adesina also stressed the importance of Nigeria acquiring low-interest concessionary financing to address its economic challenges, underscoring the need to tackle issues surrounding the exchange rate as a nation heavily reliant on imports.

Also, the AfDB is planning to launch a program this year for a $1bn special agro-industrial process in 28 states, stating that these structural interventions would make agriculture more productive, efficient, and competitive.

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