ABU DHABI, 22nd February, 2023 (WAM) -- Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has signed an agreement with the Nigerian government to finance a major road project in the country.
The Fund has allocated AED165 million (US$45 million) to support the Minna-Bida Road project, ADFD's first development project in Nigeria, which is expected to stimulate commercial activities and improve transport links between the main cities in the country.
The 82-kilometer road linking Minna, the capital of the state of Niger, with the city of Bida, will reduce travel time by 50 percent and lower the cost of vehicle operation by 31 percent. The road will feature two 7.3-metre wide lanes.
The agreement was signed remotely by Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development; and Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning of Nigeria. The signing was attended by Adel Al Hosani, Director of Operations Department at ADFD, and other officials from both sides.
Al Suwaidi said that the agreement marked the start of a new partnership with Nigeria, further expanding the Fund's development activity in Africa. "The project will facilitate transport and support economic sectors in the country."
Ahmed, the Nigerian minister expressed gratitude for the support provided by the UAE, as she emphasised ADFD's significant role in driving socioeconomic prosperity in developing countries. She pointed out the importance of the project to the Niger state government and Nigeria as a whole as it will connect the northern and southern parts of the country. "The project identifies with the National Transport Policy, and hence the development aspirations of Nigeria".
The minister further added that the project would improve the traffic flows, safety and reduce transport costs on the Minna-Bida axis, give the local community a basic-level access to transport services, leaving no one behind, and create employment opportunities for the local population, mainly women, youth, and vulnerable groups.