The African (Finance) Development Bank (AfDB) is set to release $70 million as part-financing of the $167.66 million (N51.22 billion) 198-kilometre (km) Ebonyi Ring Road project envisioned to spur Nigeria’s integration with other African countries.
The Nigerian Country Senior Director and West African Bank Group of the AfDB, Mr. Ebrina Fall, disclosed this yesterday at the ongoing 2019 AfDB’s yearly meeting in Malabo, the Equatorial Guinea Capital.
Fall, who spoke with a group of Nigerian journalists covering the meeting, said: “The Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC) cleared the credit approval last May hence, the AfDB’s board has concluded arrangement to commence disbursement before the end of the third quarter of 2019.”
The project, being co-financed by the Islamic Development Bank, as well as the Ebonyi State Government, is slated for completion in 2024 and has pushed the AfDB’s portfolio to around $8 billion. “While the project is a state initiative designed to link eight of the 13 local councils in Ebonyi State, it has strategic regional dimensions as it crosses the Enugu-Bamenda Road corridor at two points, thereby providing residents in its zone of influence with easier access to Cameroun.
“The bank continues to focus on improving the institutional framework for the co-ordination and management of regional projects through capacity support from ECOWAS and other regional specialised institutions.“The project intends to rehabilitate 177.81km of existing bituminous roads,” he further said.
The Nigerian country Director spoke as the Bank’s President , Dr. Akinwumi Adesina earlier on Monday said the Bank has in recent times invested as much as $15 billion across Africa for the purpose of integration.He said :” The Bank is committed to accelerating Africa’s integration process. In the last five years the Bank has invested more than $15 billion in the construction of regional infrastructure in energy, transport and ICT. Some of these projects include a $93.8 million loan for the long-awaited Trans-Gambia bridge linking the Gambia and Senegal, resulting in a 50% cut in freight costs and improved transport, health and education services for 900,000 local people. If we get integration right, Africa can develop with dignity and confidence,” The theme of this year’s meetings is ‘Regional Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity.”