In several news reports, World Bank President David Malpass was recently quoted as saying some Multilateral Development Banks, including the African Development Bank (https://www.AfDB.org), have a tendency to lend too quickly and in the process, add to the continent’s debt problems.
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This statement is inaccurate and not fact based. It impugns the integrity of the African Development Bank, undermines our governance systems, and incorrectly insinuates that we operate under different standards from the World Bank. The very notion goes against the spirit of multilateralism and our collaborative work.
For the record, the African Development Bank maintains a very high global standard of transparency. In the 2018 Publish What You Fund report, our institution was ranked the 4th most transparent institution, globally.
The African Development Bank provides a strong governance program for our regional member countries that focuses on public financial management, better and transparent natural resources management, sustainable and transparent debt management and domestic resource mobilization. We have spearheaded the issuance of local currency financing to several countries to mitigate the impacts of foreign exchange risks, while supporting countries to improve tax collection and tax administration, and leveraging pension funds and sovereign wealth funds to direct more monies into financing development programs, especially infrastructure.
The African Development Bank’s Africa Legal Support Facility (ALSF) supports countries to negotiate terms of their royalties and taxes to international companies, and terms of their non-concessional loans to some bilateral financiers. We have been highly successful in doing so.
These are the facts:
The World Bank, with a more substantial balance sheet, has significantly larger operations in Africa than the African Development Bank. The World Bank’s operations approved for Africa in the 2018 fiscal year amounted to US $20.2 billion, compared to US $10.1 billion by the African Development Bank.
With regard to Nigeria and South Africa, the World Bank’s outstanding loans for the 2018 fiscal year to both countries stood at US $8.3 billion and US $2.4 billion, respectively. In contrast, the outstanding amounts for the African Development Bank Group to Nigeria and South Africa were US $2.1 billion and US $2.0 billion, respectively, for the same fiscal year.
With reference to the countries described as “heavily indebted,” our Bank recognizes and closely monitors the upward debt trend. However, there is no systemic risk of debt distress.
According to the 2020 African Economic Outlook, at the end of June 2019, total public debt in Nigeria amounted to $83.9 billion, 14.6% higher than the year before. That debt represented 20.1% of GDP, up from 17.5% in 2018. Of the total public debt, domestic public debt amounted to $56.7 billion while external public debt was $27.2 billion (representing 32.4% of total public debt). South Africa’s national government debt was estimated at 55.6% of GDP in 2019, up from 52.7% in 2018. South Africa raises most of its funding domestically, with external public debt accounting for only 6.3% of the country’s GDP.
Development Banks continue to play critical roles in development efforts and in the aspirations of developing countries, most especially in Africa.
Given substantial financing needs on the African continent, the development assistance of the African Development Bank, the World Bank and other development partners remain vitally important, with increasing calls for such institutions to do even more.
The lending, policy, and advisory services of these development institutions in their respective regions are often coordinated and provide substantially better value-for-money to developing nations, compared to other sources of financing. As a result of the African Development Bank’s AAA-rated status, we source funding on highly competitive terms and pass on favorable terms to our regional member countries. Combined with other measures to ensure funds are used for intended purposes, it helps regional member countries finance debt and development in the most responsible and sustainable way.
With regard to the need for better lending coordination and the maintenance of high standards of transparency, the African Development Bank coordinates lending activities, especially its public sector policy-based loans, closely with sister International Financial Institutions (notably the World Bank and the IMF). This includes reliance on the IMF and World Bank’s Debt Sustainability Analyses (DSA) to determine the composition of our financial assistance to low-income countries; and joint institutional approaches for addressing debt vulnerabilities in the African Development Fund (ADF) and International Development Association (IDA) countries.
In addition, country economists of the African Development Bank fully participate in regional and country level IMF Article 4 missions. Contrary to suggestions, these are just a few concrete examples of historic and ongoing coordination between sister Multilateral Development Banks, IFIs, and development partners. The African Development Bank is committed to the development of the African continent. It has a vested interest in closely monitoring debt drivers and trends in African countries as it supports them in their efforts to improve the lives of the people of Africa.
We are of the view that the World Bank could have explored other available platforms to discuss debt concerns among Multilateral Development Banks. The general statement by the President of the World Bank Group insinuating that the African Development Bank contributes to Africa's debt problem and that it has lower standards of lending is simply put: misleading and inaccurate.
Group lauds Buhari on Edo Governorship poll
The Southern Nigeria Peoples Mandate (SNPM), a political pressure group, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring hitch-free, fair and credible governorship election in Edo.
Mr Augustine Chukwudum, President of the group, made the commendation while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Monday.
“We commend our amiable President for allowing the election to be free, fair and credible. This shows that the President is a democrat that every Nigerian must be proud of.
“This was not the case when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was at the helm of affairs of the Federal Government between 2003 to 2009.
“We are asking PDP at national level to thank the President for providing level playing ground for all candidates at the election, ” Chukwudum said.
He, however, congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his re-election for a second term in office, adding that it was a victory well deserved after a keenly contested election.
“It is widely evident that the governor performed very well for the people of Edo in the past three years.
“SNPM call on Obaseki to see his victory as divine mandate to improve on infrastructure in all communities in the state.
“Once more, we congratulate him and pray that the will of God would continue to shine in Edo,’’ he added.
MURIC mourns Emir of Zazzau
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Monday expressed grief over the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who passed on at the age of 84, in Kaduna.
MURIC director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola in a statement, also commiserated with the head of the Nigerian Muslim community, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Governor of Kaduna State over the death.
“The news of the passing away of the Emir of Zazzau is saddening.
“We commiserate with our leader, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.
“Our sympathy also goes to the Zazzau Emirate Council, particularly the Yariman Zazzau, Alhaji Munir Ja‘afar and the good people of Zaria.
“Shehu Idris was the 18th Emir of Zazzau and the Chairman of Zazzau Emirate Council as well as the Kaduna State Emirate Council.
He added that the late Emir Shehu Idris was a diligent, pious and patriotic Nigerian.
He noted that his patience could melt Mount Everest.
“He once ordered his convoy to turn back and find another route instead of telling the police to attack a Shiite procession that refused to allow his convoy to drive past.
“May Almighty Allah overlook his shortcomings and grant him a lofty place in Al-Jannah Firdaus. May Allah give the family the fortitude to bear the loss,” he prayed.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the remains of the late Emir was laid to rest in the ’emir’s palace’ of the ancient city of Zaria, Kaduna State.
The funeral prayers were led by the Chief Imam of the Zazzau Emirate Council, Alhaji Dalhatu Kasimu, in the palace at 5. 35p.m. in accordance with Islamic rites.
In attendance were Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State, Secretary to the State Government Balarabe Lawal-Abbas, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Yusuf Zailani, and other top government dignitaries.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, led the federal government delegation that included the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, head of military and paramilitary, among others.
NAN reports that the monarch spent 45 years on the throne having ascended to the throne in 1975 at the age of 36, following the demise of Alhaji Muhammadu Aminu, the 17th Emir of Zazzau.
He attended Katsina Training College and taught at Hunkuyi.
He served as private secretary to the Sarkin Zazzau, Muhammadu Aminu.
He became the secretary of the Zaria Native Authority Council in 1965, took the title of Dan Madamin Zaria and became the district head of Zaria and Kewaye in 1973.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Ganduje mourns Emir of Zazzau
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has commiserated with the people and government of Kaduna State over the death of Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who died on Sunday at 84.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, the Kano State governor described the death as a national tragedy and monumental blow to the nation’s traditional institution system.
He said “we lost a national hero, Alhaji Shehu Idris was an embodiment of humility, discipline, respect, statesmanship and exemplary leadership.
“His death leaves an indelible mark in the history of the Nigerian nation state.
“It is with sad note and deep sense of agony that we received the demise of this rare gem and a traditional leader of high repute with respectful global touch.”
Ganduje prayed for the reposed soul of the emir on behalf of the government and people of Kano State, to the families of the late emir, the Kaduna State government and the Zazzau Emirate.
“We pray for Allah’s blessing and forgiveness for the reposed soul of the great emir. May Allah forgive his shortcomings and reward his good deeds abundantly.” (NAN )
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
NCDC records 97 new COVID-19 infections, total cases now 57, 242
The NCDC disclosed this on its official twitter handle on Sunday .
It added that three persons died of COVID-19 complications while 138 patients, who recovered at various isolation centres across the country the same day, were discharged.
Based on the figures released, Lagos state recorded the highest number of infections with 46 new cases.
The data released also indicated that Kwara recorded 12 new infections, Rivers 11, and Adamawa 4.
Others were Niger – 4, Ogun – 4, Osun – 4, Ekiti – 3, Imo – 3, Kaduna – 3, Plateau – 2, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – 1.
“Till date, 57, 242 cases have been confirmed, 48, 569 cases have been discharged, and 1,098 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT,” the centre said.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Emmanuel Yashim