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AfDB president tasks Nigeria to tackle debt challenges



Akinwunmi Adesina
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has tasked the country to tackle debt challenges,  saying that debt service costs and poor foreign exchange policies are the major setbacks to the country’s economic growth.

Adesina made this known during the Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat, which was held virtually and physically at the Presidential Villa on Monday, October 12.

The AfDB president stressed the need to fix the country’s economic structure, saying, “Nigeria must decisively tackle its debt challenges. The issue is not about the debt to GDP ratio as Nigeria’s Debt to GDP ratio at 35 per cent is actually still moderate.

“The big issue is how to service the debt and what that means for resources for domestic investments needed to spur faster economic growth.

“The debt service to revenue for Nigeria is at 73 per cent. Things will of course improve as oil prices recover, but the situation has revealed the vulnerability of the Nigerian economy.

“To have an economic resurgence, we need to fix the structure of the economy and address some basic fundamentals. Nigeria’s challenge is revenue concentration.”

Adesina demanded for the removal of structural bottlenecks restricting productivity and revenue-earning potential, adding that “What is needed for sustained growth and economic resurgence is to remove the structural bottlenecks that limit the productivity and revenue earning potentials of the huge non-oil sector.”

The AfDB president further advised the government to boost productivity in the non-oil sector with the right fiscal and macroeconomic policies.

Meanwhile, previously reported that the AfDB disclosed that Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa account for about a third of the incubators and accelerators and 80 per cent of investment in Africa.

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The Bank made this known in a new report titled ‘Entrepreneurship and Free Trade Volume II – Towards a New Narrative of Building Resilience’ released over the weekend.

This new report, which is a sequel to an earlier report ‘Entrepreneurship and Free Trade: Africa’s Catalysts for a New Era of Economic Prosperity’, examined the state of African entrepreneurship within a global lens, while highlighting developments, and suggesting future directions for entrepreneurship in Africa.

The report revealed further that Nigeria and three other countries dominate the market in terms of the amount of incubators and accelerators alongside the percentage of investments.



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