President Buhari addressing the State House Press Corps yesterday

•As AfDB gives EFCC, ICPC $3m

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that Nigeria has the people and the resources to surmount her economic problems.

Presidential spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as declaring this at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on Monday while receiving the president of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina.

“God has given us people and resources. It will take hard work on our part, but we will make it. We will get out of our problems. We are determined to produce what we eat, and stop importation. We will also chase those who stole, and get them to refund,” Buhari was quoted to have stated.

The president said Nigeria appreciated the helping hands being lent by the AfDB and assured Nigerian-born Adesina, who was the immediate past Minister of Agriculture, that “we will not let you down. Your country won’t disappoint you.”

The AfDB president was quoted as appreciating Buhari for the support the country gave when he ran for bank’s presidency, thus making him the first Nigerian to occupy such position since the bank was established in 1964.

Adesina also commended Buhari for successes recorded in securing the country, particularly in the northeast, noting that “there can be no development without adequate security.”

He described recent economic decisions taken in the country as “bold, tough, uncomfortable, but right,” adding that Nigeria would reap the dividends in the short and long run.

“You can count on the ADB as a true friend of Nigeria. You should support massive investment in infrastructure, and we are here to also support. Closing the infrastructure deficit will enable growth, and create employment. Nigeria is too big to fail,” Adesina said.

He unfolded the packages his institution hasd for Nigeria including $1 billion of budget support, $300 million to create jobs for 185,000 youths, $250 million towards northeast infrastructure development, $1 million grant to deal with challenges of internally displaced persons, $300 million for infrastructure development around Abuja, $200 million for Transmission Company of Nigeria to deepen facilities, among others.

Speaking further, the AfDB helmsman expressed delight with what he called “President Buhari’s push on anti-corruption, and stance on governance,” explaining that building institutions was critical.

He said to that end, the AfDB would give a total of $4.8 million as grant for institutional support, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) getting $2 million, and $1 million to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

“You can always count on my support, and that of the ADB,” Adesina emphasised.

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