BusinessDay

Nigeria to benefit from IDA’s $93bn development package

Nigeria is among African countries to be given priority in the disbursement of the $93bn International Development Association (IDA) fund package for low income countries.

The fund is said to be the largest financial package ever mobilised in the history of the IDA that will prioritise some key areas such as agriculture and food security, human capital, climate change adaptation, bridging the gender gap, job creation, digital and technological innovation, among others.”

President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, joined African leaders in Dakar, Senegal to launch the financial package ever mobilised, out of which 70 percent will be deployed to fund projects towards a robust and resilient economy for Africa.

BusinessDay gathered that 70 percent of the global fund will be spent on African countries between now and 2027, with Nigeria getting the biggest cut among the African states.

President Buhari, who was personally present at the event convened by President Macky Sall of Senegal and chairperson of the African Union, in his submission at the opening dialogue of African heads of state on development challenges and priorities at the International Development Association (IDA) Summit for Africa, made a special case for low income countries

He also stressed that the Nigerian government is determined to ensure that the economy is able to withstand the shocks by building a resilient economy capable of creating jobs.

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This, according to him, will be achieved by looking inwards and adding value to the commodities produced in the country.

He, therefore, called on global partners for concerted efforts to help in the realisation of these objectives.

“I wish to, therefore, call for concerted global efforts to mitigate and sustain food systems. These efforts must involve key stakeholders, including governments, farmers, investors, multilateral organisations, regional bodies, international financial institutions, private partners and civil societies.

“As African countries continue to grapple with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and now the Russia-Ukraine war, the continued support from the World Bank group, particularly from the IDA is critical to help us meet financial needs.”

He noted, however, that “Nigeria’s priority amid these global challenges is to build the resilience of our economy and drive jobs-rich growth. Therefore, our focus is on the transformative scale-up of industrialisation, to be driven by backward integration and export development based on value-addition to key commodities and access to new markets.”

According to the president, “In order for us and in particular Nigeria to achieve these priorities, we must continue to build partnerships and global solidarity that will address the challenges of the most vulnerable population and look forward to stronger collaboration among members of the International Development Association.”

President Buhari also expressed confidence that the summit will build on the Abidjan Declaration of 2021 and comprehensively address the debilitating effects of COVID-19, climate change, insurgency and lately, the war in Ukraine.

“ I am confident that we will consolidate on the resolutions adopted at the previous high-level meeting on the IDA, that was graciously hosted by President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire in Abidjan in July 2021, and which highlighted the need for an ambitious replenishment of the IDA-20, to support Africa’s economic recovery agenda, following the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The situation,” he stressed, “has been particularly difficult for us in Africa, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine have continued to increase our development challenges, with many countries on the continent experiencing a prolonged severe food crisis, dwindling government revenue, rising levels of unemployment, widening infrastructural needs over the past three years and the consequences of a preponderant debt burden, in efforts to mitigate these problems.”

He, however, commended the World Bank and the IDA for their interventionist programmes designed to address areas germane to the African continent like agriculture, technological innovation and gender matters among others, aligning “with Nigeria’s post-COVID-19 economic sustainability plan, which has a major component, called the agriculture for food and jobs programme, where we seek to leverage suitable technologies to build a resilient food system for the country.

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