Lamin Barrow, the Director-General, Nigeria Country Department of the African Development Bank (AfDB) says the bank approved $544 million in loan financing for five operations in Nigeria in 2021.
Barrow made this known on Thursday in Abuja at the opening of the 2022 Country Portfolio Performance Review (CPPR) workshop. He said the bank and other co-financing partners’ portfolios in Nigeria increased by $2.031 billion between 2019 and 2021.
Barrow said the bank leveraged its resources by mobilising co-financing from other development partners to the tune of about $1 billion. He said in 2020, a $288.5 million General Budget Support operation was approved under the COVID-19 Crisis Response Facility. He said since the 2019 CPPR, 15 operations have exited and the bank recorded the entry of six operations which increased the bank’s portfolio in Nigeria by $198.6 million.
“Meanwhile $544 million in loan financing was approved for five operations in 2021.The bank has leveraged its resources by mobilising co-financing from other development partners to the tune of nearly one billion dollars,” Barrow said.
He noted that the portfolio of the bank in Nigeria is made up of 63 operations for a total commitment value of $5 billion which is distributed between public and private sector operations in many sectors.
He said there have been changes since the 2019 CPPR workshop due to the pandemic which brought about major disruptions in the bank’s activities. However, the bank still recorded modest gains.
“For instance, the pace of project implementation has picked up in 2021 as evidenced in the cumulative disbursement rate which increased from 57 per cent in 2019 to 66 per cent in 2021. Similarly, the portfolio performance rating has remained satisfactory at around three on a scale of one to four over the same period. Fiduciary compliance is also improving with progress observed in the submission rate of audited financial statements by the executing/implementing agencies,” Mr Barrow said.
Speaking on the 2022 CPPR, Mr Barrow said it presents a good opportunity to take stock of progress and execute timely actions to avoid further slippages and clean up the portfolio in order to ensure that new projects reach the implementation stage at a faster pace. This has become more urgent in the context of the Federal Government’s efforts to achieve rapid economic recovery from the pandemic as articulated in the medium-term National Development Plan 2021-2025.
Aisha Omar, Director, International Economic Relations Department, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said AfDB has demonstrated its unwavering support in our times of difficulty by mobilising resources for investment in Nigeria. She said, “Nigeria is currently stepping up efforts to ensure the implementation of donor assistance for the effectiveness of our portfolio. Our approach is to adopt a rigorous tracking and monitoring of all donor interventions across the country.”