Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and National Planning

By: Fiona Freddy

The Federal Government on Tuesday commended the European Investment Bank (EIB) plan to invest between 800 million euros and one billion euros in the Nigerian economy.

Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed stated this at the EIB interactive meeting with its clients and other stakeholders in Abuja said the plan would complement the Federal Government Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

She said, “Over the past 20 years, EIB had facilitated numerous public private sector driven projects totaling about 1.60 billion euros in Nigeria in the areas of agriculture, power transportation, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).

“All of these have significant impact on the employment and has significantly contributed to the turn- around of the industrialization efforts of the government.

“The Bank’s recent commitment to make available between 800 million and one billion euros for public sector investment, demonstrates the growing the EU-Nigeria ties and EU confidence in the Nigeria economy,” she said.

“As the EIB celebrates its 60 years of establishment and service to humanity, we wish to congratulate you and to see that the work you do is actually directly complimenting the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

“The ERGP is a short medium term that seeks to economy and to assist to grow the Nigeria economy in manner that is both sustainable and inclusive.

“The ERGP was designed to leverage the power of the private sector and you are directly contributing through that.”

“We had the plan and in our budget to gracious provide fund to crowd in more fund, we appreciate the various instrumentality of the various packages that you have,” she said.

The minister urged the bank to make its presence stronger in Nigeria by having Nigeria branch.

She said: “with all that you have done in our country with the largest investment Africa being Nigeria we want you to have your presence in Nigeria, and open in Nigeria EIB Nigeria office.

“We urged the EIB to continue with the good work that it has been doing. I wish to assure its management of the conducive business environment and market in the Nigerian economy to guarantee decent returns on investments.

“In this regard, I urge the bank to key in to the bright outlook in our economy as we look forward to commissioning its business office in our country very soon,” she said