Lagos - African Development Bank President (AfDB), Donald Kaberuka, said the organization was committed to the completion of the
Nigeria Cameroon-Highway saying the project would boost trade between the two countries.
Kaberuka, speaking at the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit, said the project was part of efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with the help of AfDB, to address the non-tariff restriction in order to facilitate regional trade.
"With the rate at which most African economies are growing, at 6 percent Gross Domestic Product, my conviction is that we shall not be able to sustain this growth until we solve the issue of infrastructure. And so the Bank is channeling 60 percent of its funds to financing infrastructure projects, including cross-border infrastructure," Kaberuka said.
The Nigeria - Cameroon Multinational Highway will ultimately connect Bamenda in northwestern Cameroon to Enugu in eastern Nigeria through a 433 kilometre-long corridor.
AfDB, the World Bank and Japan's Agency for International Development is funding the project to the tune of about $500 million. Work on the project, which was first discussed in the 1980s, began three years ago.
Meanwhile, Kaberuka urged Nigeria to help boost regional trade through its Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
"Sometimes, we think that the global market is somewhere else; but it is next door - in Benin, Togo, Cameroon, and across all African countries.
Within Africa, we have the solution to our problems. Nigeria alone has 20 per cent of the population in Africa. By the year 2050, Africa will represent 20 per cent of the population of the world. The markets are here. By 2050, there will be two billion persons on the continent, more
than China, more than India. And we would want them to be consumers of our products."
The AfDB President also mentioned that the Bank is currently supporting the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to build
agricultural infrastructure that would cut across all regions of the country.
- CAJ News