The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has said Nigeria needs help in tackling its debt burden.

He said this at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum in New York on Thursday.

According to Adesina, financing was critical to solving Nigeria’s development challenges.

He said, “Financing is critical because the debt to GDP ratio of Africa has increased to 70 per cent — several countries are the risk of high debt distress due to unstable, unsustainable debt levels.

“Nigeria’s total debt level is N42.84tn or $103bn. External debt levels stand at N16.61tn or $40bn. Ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria needs help to tackle this debt burden.”

He further stressed that Nigeria and other African countries needed debt relief.

He also said that African countries, including Nigeria, needed international partnership to tackle climate change.

Adesina also highlighted challenges around investing in Nigeria.

He added, “Nigeria’s growth will be conditioned on its ability to fix its massive infrastructure deficit.”

He said the National Integrated Infrastructure masterplan showed Nigeria would need a total financing of $759 billion up until 2043.

Adesina further stressed, “We must change our ways sometimes. To attract greater foreign direct investment to Nigeria, we must fix security. Capital does not like to be troubled.”

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