AfDB, Nigerian government to hold dialogue on infrastructure and structural transformation

AfDBThe African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Nigerian government will Monday, July 29, 2013, hold a high level policy dialogue on ‘Infrastructure and Structural Transformation in Nigeria’ in the federal capital of Abuja, a press statement from AfDB has said.

According to the release, the meeting, which is jointly organised by the AfDB, Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance, and the country’s National Planning Commission is expected examine ways in which Nigeria could accelerate the reduction of poverty and social inequality.

Issues to be discussed at the roundtable will include Nigeria’s ‘Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan’, the ‘Infrastructure Action Plan for Nigeria’ and ‘Structural Transformation and Inclusive Growth’ in Nigeria.

The dialogue, which will also focus on the challenges and opportunities faced by Nigeria, while bringing in experiences and lessons from other countries, is expected to bring together policy-makers, private sector, academics, civil society activists and development partners including AfDB’s Chief Economist and Vice President Mthuli Ncube, as well as the Vice-President for Country Programmes and Policy, Zondo Sakala.

The AfDB says the upcoming dialogue is informed by the fact that even though Nigeria was one of Africa’s largest economies the country continues to face challenges in using this growth to ensure substantial reductions in poverty and social inequality.

It however maintains that “Nigeria has enjoyed a growth rate of some seven per cent over five years due to improved economic performance and sustained policy improvements,” while recognising the need for more inclusive growth, the Nigerian government has stepped up the implementation of its transformation agenda (2011-2015).

“In response to Nigeria’s own national agenda, the African Development Bank’s country strategy aims at primarily supporting the deepening of a sound policy environment and investing in critical infrastructure to promote economic development,” the release stated.

The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution and comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF).

Present in 29 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 53 regional member states.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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