BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

U.S. commercial service, AfDB spotlight opportunities for Nigerian investors

The U.S. Commercial Service Liaison Office to the African Development Bank (AfDB), in collaboration with the American Business Council and the AfDB’s Nigeria Country Department on Thursday, unveiled business opportunities in Nigeria to American firms.

Part of the opportunities is seen around infrastructure development and digital transformation.

The AfDB’s country strategy paper for Nigeria covering the period 2020 to 2024 seeks to promote structural transformation and inclusive growth that is climate resilient through two mutually reinforcing pillars, mainly supporting infrastructure development, and promoting social inclusion, through agribusiness and skills development, Lamin Barrow, director general of the African Development Bank for Nigeria, said.

The Liaison Office hosted the first ever Discover AfDB-Nigeria Business Spotlight event, which underscores the strong U.S. commercial engagement in Nigeria.

The event, held at Microsoft’s Lagos office, welcomed over 70 U.S. firms working in Nigeria. It is the first in a series titled Discover AfDB, led by the U.S. Commercial Service, to expand outreach to the U.S. private sector, enhance knowledge of the activities of the Bank’s operations in Nigeria and highlight upcoming business opportunities.

Ashley Ndir, the United States Senior Commercial Liaison to the AfDB welcomed participants to the event noting, “the U.S. Commercial Liaison Office to the AfDB’s objective is to assist U.S. companies in navigating public and corporate procurement opportunities at the Bank and expand understanding of the resources of the AfDB’s private sector financing. We want to see more American firms active in doing business with the AfDB here in Nigeria as well as across the continent.”

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The United States is the largest non-regional shareholder in the African Development Bank. The AfDB has over 54 operations in its Nigeria portfolio valued at $4.5 billion. Barrow outlined the Bank’s country strategy for Nigeria, key initiatives and financing activities to support the country’s economic and social progress.

A breakdown of the portfolio showed we break down as far as that is sovereign operations having a $2.7 billion share, representing 60 percent of total commitments, and 23 non-sovereign operations that are private sector projects valued at $1.8 billion or representing 40 percent of AfDB’s current commitments.

“These other operations in our lending pipeline present significant business opportunities for US companies,” Barrow said.

“The Nigeria Country Department of the African Development Bank is delighted to be part of this initiative to expand outreach and provide a platform to inform US firms about business opportunities arising from the Bank’s financing activities to the public and private sector in African countries. The USA is a strategic partner of the Bank, so we look forward to strengthening our engagement with US companies,” Lamin said.

His keynote speech was followed by a panel moderated by Elvire Kodio, U.S. Commercial Specialist to the AfDB. The panel discussed the theme “Infrastructure and Digital Transformation for Nigeria-Business Opportunities.” Panellists included AfDB’s Rosemond Offei-Awuku, task manager for the Bank’s Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprise (I-DICE) program; Orison Amu, Operations Support Manager; Patrick Owuori, Procurement Lead; as well as Microsoft’s Azure business group lead Chukwuma Okpaka who provided perspective of the private sector’s work in the digital space.

The U.S. Commercial Liaison Office to the AfDB will be continuing their Discover AfDB series of events as part of their strategy to engage more U.S. firms in doing business with the African Development Bank.

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