Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Senior Special Adviser to the President of the African Development Bank, described the Federal Government as the bank’s most difficult client on Tuesday.
He made the remarks while delivering the keynote address at 2022, 3rd Biennial African Scientific Integration Network Conference, which was hosted by the Centre for Energy Research and Development at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun state.
The AfDB president delivered a paper titled ‘Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Development.’
In response to questions about what the bank was doing to help the growth of industries in Nigeria, he specifically mentioned a loan facility approved by the bank’s Board of Directors for Nigeria and how the Federal Government delayed its approval.
“I can tell you we have many projects in Nigeria, and I am leading one of them,” he said. We raised $540 million for each zone in Nigeria for the Special Arrangement Industrial Processing Loan.
“We raised it, and the AfDB board approved it on December 13th, but the Ministry of Finance did not sign it until June 1st.” We were pleading with them to sign. By the way, this loan has a 1% interest rate for 25 years and an eight-year moratorium. It’s as if you’ve been given money for free.
“Other countries have only one zone, and they’ve been calling to thank us, the president, and everyone for what you’ve done for us, but in Nigeria, you’ll be asked why you’re pushing so hard. We were supposed to begin work on the project on March 1. “The most difficult client is the Nigerian government.”
Earlier, Prof. Simeon Bamire, Vice Chancellor of OAU, stated that the current global environment was posing challenges for poor, small, landlocked, and resource-dependent economies. He then charged the conference with identifying these challenges and attempting to offer solutions.