By Tolulope Oke
The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has noted that Nigeria’s capacity to address its significant infrastructure deficit will determine how quickly the country can thrive.
Speaking at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum in New York on Thursday, Adesina stated that according to the National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan, Nigeria would require $759 billion in total financing from now until 2043.
He said “Nigeria’s growth will be conditioned on its ability to fix its massive infrastructure deficit.”
Adesina further stressed, “We must change our ways sometimes. To attract greater foreign direct investment to Nigeria, we must fix security. Capital does not like to be troubled.”
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In line with this, Adesina said Nigeria will need help in tackling its debt burden.
He said, “Financing is critical because the debt to GDP ratio of Africa has increased to 70 per cent — several countries are the risk of high debt distress due to unstable, unsustainable debt levels.
“Nigeria’s total debt level is N42.84tn or $103bn. External debt levels stand at N16.61tn or $40bn. Ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria needs help to tackle this debt burden.”
He also said that African countries, including Nigeria, needed international partnership to tackle climate change.