The Federal Government has renewed its agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) on the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF) for additional 10 years.
President of the Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, announced the renewal on Monday in Busan, South Korea, at the inaugural news conference of the banks 44th Annual General Meetings in the Asian country.
Adesina said the development was communicated to the bank on Monday by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, before the expiration of the NTF agreement in 2018.
The Fund was created in 1976 by an agreement between the Bank Group and Nigeria as a self-sustaining revolving fund.
It is meant to assist the development efforts of the bank’s low-income regional member countries which economic and social conditions and prospects require concessional financing.
Its initial capital of 80 million dollars was replenished in 1981 with 71 million dollars.
In 2008, Nigeria and the bank agreed to a 10-year extension of the NTF.
According to him, the bank is evaluating the programme in appreciation of Nigeria’s gesture in assisting many countries and people across Africa.
On the theme of the meeting: “Accelerating Africa’s Industrialisation’’, the president said the right skills were needed by African countries to drive industrialisation.
He urged Africa to invest in ICT, science and technology as well as make strong innovation to achieve knowledge-based economy.
Adesina called on African universities to make fundamental changes in their curricula to provide competent and specific skills needed by labour and key industries.
“Insecurity arising from poverty and lack of employment in Africa must be addressed toward achieving rapid industrialisation on the continent.’’
He said local governments and communities had fundamental roles to play in this aspect, adding that industrialisation, if not properly managed, could increase inequality.
Adesina stressed the need for African governments to accelerate their economic growth through real industrial development, not just mere wage-based development.
He explained that the net income of the bank, which was declining before he assumed office, had now been turned around and was much higher.
The Asian country is hosting the African programme as one of the non regional members of the bank.
The five-day meeting is featuring programmes, including symposia, seminars, panel discussions among youths and presentations by some Korean firms and students on various technological feats. (NAN)