By Jacob Kubeka –
Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is excited about an investment of $520 million in specialised agro-processing zones by the African Development Bank (AfDB), praising the leader of the multilateral institution, Dr Adewunmi Adesina, for further opening up the economy for investments that provide job opportunities and reduction in poverty.
Receiving Dr Adesina after the two-day summit on A New Global Financing Pact in Paris, President Tinubu said the agro-industrial project strengthens an area of the country’s competitive advantage as he listed other areas of priority that require Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The President urged the Bank to inject funds into projects that target women and youth empowerment, while appreciating the AfDB President for his vision of setting up a Youth Entrepreneurship Bank in Nigeria that will provide credit, skills and other support for young Nigerians.
President Tinubu assured Dr Adesina that the Federal Government would provide all the necessary assistance to ensure sustenance of the projects, adding that electricity remained a priority area that needed urgent attention.
In his remarks, the AfDB President thanked President Tinubu for the bold initiatives that had repositioned Nigerian economy in three weeks and stimulated appetite of investors from different parts of the world; removal of fuel subsidy and harmonisation of exchange rates.
“I commend the President’s foresight, boldness and determination for macroeconomic policy direction by removing the fuel subsidy,’’ he said, “No bird can fly with its wings tied behind. All those steps are signals investors like.’’
Dr Adesina said the bank would support the economic policies of the new administration in Nigeria, that had placed the people first in development targets.
In another meeting, President Tinubu received executives of Airbus/ATR, and assured them that the aviation sector would be “streamlined for efficiency’’, especially in maintenance of aircrafts and training.
Senior Vice President of Airbus/ATR, Public Affairs, Laurent Rahul Domergue, assured the President that the company was prepared to invest in the aviation sector, particularly in supplying planes to Nigeria.