The African Development Bank says it will provide $10bn for roads and other infrastructural development projects in Nigeria.
A Transport Specialist/Consultant to the AfDB, Abayomi Babalola, disclosed this on Thursday at a meeting with officials of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency in Abuja.
Babalola also said the AfDB would assist FERMA with a loan facility to address funding gaps in the agency’s operations.
The $10bn loan would be disbursed to different sectors of the economy for a period of 10 years, he further explained.
Babalola, however, observed that the transport sector had not received the much-desired intervention from the bank.
He informed the management of FERMA that his team was at the agency on a transport sector identification mission.
The mission involves the identification of road projects in Nigeria that can be funded through a well-monitored project cycle.
Babalola explained that the selected projects would be of national priority and devoid of political encumbrances.
He requested the management of the agency to forward needs and projects that meet the criteria, which would eventually be funded by the AfDB.
The Managing Director FERMA, Nuruddeen Rafindadi, while thanking the AfDB for the gesture, bemoaned the poor state of roads in the country.
He blamed the development on poor funding.
According to him, budgetary allocations have been grossly inadequate to fund road repair works.
Noting that the Federal Government was looking at other funding options for road projects, Rafindadi said the loan would be utilised effectively, when approved by the Ministry of Finance.
“Some of the roads that would benefit from this may not be viable for privatisation because of low traffic density, but they are important due to their connection to rural areas with heavy agricultural activities,” he said.
Rafindadi said FERMA would partner the AfDB to make Nigerian roads motorable.