The Agence Francaise De Development (AFD) on Wednesday disclosed that it had supported the Federal Government with over N280 billion sovereign loans to support the financing of projects in key sectors of the nation’s economy.
The AFD’s Country Director in Nigeria, Pascal Grangereau, said the financial support was in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, power, energy and rural development.
Grangerau, who briefed the media in Abuja on the AFD’s interventions in Nigeria as part of plans to mark its 10th Anniversary, explained that the amount represented 44 per cent of £1.5bn expended over the period of 10 years in the country.
He pointed out that the French development finance institution had been involved in bridging Nigeria’s infrastructure gap since its inception in the country in 2008, adding that during the period 1.8 million people have benefitted from better power supply, with nearly 2,000 kilometres of rural roads rehabilitated across the country.
The AFD Country Director expatiated: “Thirty projects have been financed with a portfolio amount of £1.5n and 11,230 tonnes of cereal purchased to prevent food crisis in West Africa. We have also given the Federal Government 44 per cent sovereign loan of £1.5bn expended over the period of 10 years in Nigeria, and 48 per cent non-sovereign loan and eight per cent grant.”
According to him, the AFD had also granted five Nigerian banks credit facilities running to billions of naira as well as offering psychological assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North-East to the tune of £35 million under the Lake Chad Inclusive Economic and Social Recovery Programme co-funded by the European Union.
Grangereau hinted also that following visit of the French President, Emmanuel Macron to Nigeria recently, the French government had been exploring new avenues aimed at strengthening the countries’ bilateral cooperation.
He listed the areas being focused on to include culture and creative arts, sports development and tertiary development.
In his remarks at the event, the AFD Regional Director, Gulf of Guinea, Matthieu Discour, explained that the new areas of cooperation would include digital sector development, governance and development, and international solidarity education.
He disclosed further that the bank had put in place a special grant scheme for small and medium-scale businesses selected by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) in the country.
This is even as he unveiled plans by development finance institution to commit £5 million in grant to support income-generating activities in the Lake Chad region.