AfDB: growing Nigeria’s industrial sector to improve the economy

By Leah Netabai

With a population of 2.8mn, Abia state, Nigeria looks to the African Development Bank (AfDB) to transform the state into an industrial hub.

At the AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State, discussed with the bank, a potential investment opportunity to help boost job creations and enhance livelihoods by growing Nigeria's industrial sector. The state government’s goal is to transform the region into a powerhouse for manufacturing and industrial production, to create 700,000 jobs in the next five years. 

“Our vision is to leverage the capacity of our people to become the SME capital of Nigeria.  Our people are industrious and innovative. For instance, our people are known as top players in the leather industry. We have a new shoe factory that is producing over 50, 000 shoes. We particularly need the Bank’s help to address the State’s infrastructure deficit,” commented Ikpeazu.

In addition to producing more jobs for the region, the bank’s support was also sought by the state to facilitate its Integrated Infrastructural Project, which has been designed to develop massive infrastructure, particularly in the city of Aba and the capital of Umuahia. 

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“Over the years, Aba has evolved as a centre of entrepreneurship and SMEs.  The city has the potential to be a competitive industrial hub for Nigeria and for Africa. For this reason, the Bank will continue to support your vision,” commented Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank.

Did you know? Since its operations began in 1971, AfDB has invested US$74mn into the state in the power and energy sector (53%), the education sector (25%), the health sector (15%) and the transport sector (7%).

For more information on business topics in Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Africa.

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