Between the 22nd and 23rd of June, top officials from the African Development Bank (AfDB) reviewed proposals presented by the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, and resolved to provide the necessary support the government requested for. This is in line with the Bank’s mission to support national and sub-national governments’ development plans.
During the meeting held at the organization’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Governor Fayemi noted that his administration decided to seek the AfDB’s support for projects that are crucial to the infrastructural and industrial development of Ekiti State in order to improve the fortunes of the state, repositioning it as a destination of choice for investment and employment.
He specifically noted that Ekiti State needed to upgrade its infrastructure and invest in the business of agriculture, which will provide jobs for the state’s teeming population of young people, which he estimates at 75 percent of the state’s total population.
“These are our local priorities, if you can support us, it will enable us to do some other things through our own limited resources.”
In response, the African Development Bank (AFDB) expressed its readiness to provide technical and financial support for the upgrade of Ekiti State’s infrastructure, including fixing the dilapidated Ado-Akure road.
According to the information provided on the state government’s website, other projects the AFDB is willing to support include the Ekiti Airport, the Ekiti Knowledge Zone (a smart city to promote knowledge) and the agricultural and socio-economical development of the state.
The AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, conveyed the Bank’s excitement at the prospect of job creation, especially for the youth, and the plans to improve the stock of infrastructure in the state. Speaking on kidnapping and banditry in the country, he posited that this scourge would be arrested with more investments and job opportunities for the youths.
“The government must find a way to create jobs for the teeming population of unemployed youths, in order to secure the future of the country.”
“Our job is to support and we have been supporting Nigeria. We are willing to support you,” he added.
At the end of the meeting, it was announced that a team of technical experts from the AfDB Headquarters will be in Ekiti State in the next few weeks for further discussions and to carry out an assessment of the various projects. The visit and other activities will prepare grounds for the Bank’s final decision.
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