In a recent development, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has given its approval for a loan of $115 million to support a major road rehabilitation project in Abia State. The initiative aims to address critical infrastructure challenges faced by the state, particularly in the capital city of Umuahia and the commercial hub of Aba.
The project, estimated to cost $263.80 million in total, will involve the rehabilitation of roads, the implementation of erosion control infrastructure, and the establishment of solid waste management facilities. Funding for the project will be obtained through a $100 million loan from the African Development Bank, a $15 million loan from the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund (CACF), and a $125 million co-financing loan from the Islamic Development Bank. The Abia State government will contribute $23.80 million in counterpart funding, which will be utilized for compensating individuals affected by the project and implementing a Resettlement Action Plan.
The road rehabilitation component of the project will cover a total of 248.46 km, with 58.03 km in Umuahia and 190.43 km in Aba. These roads will be upgraded to asphaltic concrete standards at varying cross sections. Furthermore, the project will address erosion sites in both cities and conduct preparatory studies for private sector involvement in solid waste management. Additionally, the initiative includes capacity building, project management, and the development of social infrastructure such as the rehabilitation of schools, sanitation facilities in educational institutions, community markets, and hospitals.
The completion of this project, anticipated by 2029, will bring substantial benefits to the estimated population of 1.37 million residing in Umuahia and Aba. The improvements in infrastructure are expected to result in reduced travel time, decreased vehicle operating costs, and overall lower transport expenses. Moreover, the project will generate approximately 3,000 temporary jobs during the construction phase, with a focus on empowering women, and around 1,000 permanent jobs during the operational phase. These permanent employment opportunities will particularly benefit the youth, accounting for 50 percent of the workforce. The Abia State government plans to provide training in contract management through the State Youth Road Maintenance Corps, which comprises young engineers from the state’s 17 Local Government Areas.
Lamin Barrow, the Director General of the African Development Bank’s Nigeria Country Department, emphasized that the project will enhance resilience and provide urban infrastructure services, along with economic and social amenities, to the towns of Umuahia and Aba. The successful implementation of the project is expected to contribute to the development of sustainable and livable cities in the region.
As for the African Development Bank’s portfolio in Nigeria, it currently consists of 48 operations worth $4.2 billion. National (Federal and State) operations represent 90 percent of the portfolio, comprising 41 projects totaling $3.79 billion, while multinational operations account for 10 percent, with seven projects amounting to $0.41 billion. Within this portfolio, there are 24 Sovereign Operations, representing 56 percent of total commitments ($2.36 billion), and 24 Non-Sovereign Operations, accounting for 44 percent ($1.84 billion).
This loan approval underscores the commitment of the African Development Bank to supporting infrastructure development and economic growth in Nigeria. The bank recognizes the urgent need to address the infrastructure deficit and improve the quality of life for the residents of Abia State, particularly in Umuahia and Aba.
By rehabilitating the road network, implementing erosion control measures, and enhancing solid waste management facilities, the project will contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the state. The upgraded road infrastructure will facilitate smoother transportation, promote trade, and attract investments, thereby stimulating economic activities in the region.
Furthermore, the project’s focus on capacity building and job creation, particularly for the youth, highlights the importance of inclusive growth and sustainable development. The training provided by the State Youth Road Maintenance Corps will equip young engineers with valuable skills in contract management, enabling them to contribute to the maintenance and upkeep of the road network in the long run.
With its comprehensive approach, the project also aims to address pressing environmental concerns, such as erosion and the accumulation of solid waste. These issues have been detrimental to the quality of life and have hindered the growth potential of Umuahia and Aba. Through the reinstatement of erosion sites and the development of solid waste management strategies, the project will enhance the environmental resilience of these cities and create a more sustainable living environment for their residents.
The African Development Bank’s support for this project reflects its strategic priorities, including the promotion of infrastructure development, job creation, and sustainable urbanization. By collaborating with international partners and leveraging co-financing mechanisms, the bank ensures the effective implementation of the project while optimizing available resources.
As the project progresses, the African Development Bank will closely monitor its execution to ensure adherence to quality standards, timely completion, and the achievement of the expected outcomes. The bank remains committed to fostering economic progress and improving the livelihoods of the people of Abia State and Nigeria as a whole.
In conclusion, the approval of the $115 million loan by the African Development Bank for the road rehabilitation and infrastructure project in Abia State represents a significant step towards addressing critical infrastructure challenges in Umuahia and Aba. The project’s holistic approach, including road rehabilitation, erosion control measures, and solid waste management, will contribute to economic growth, job creation, and environmental sustainability. With its focus on improving the lives of the residents and creating resilient cities, the project exemplifies the African Development Bank’s commitment to promoting inclusive and sustainable development in Nigeria.
- African Development Bank (AfDB) approves a $115 million loan for a significant road rehabilitation project in Abia State.
- The project includes the rehabilitation of roads, erosion control infrastructure, and solid waste management facilities in Umuahia and Aba.
- The loan will be a co-financing effort involving AfDB, the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund (CACF), and the Islamic Development Bank, with the Abia State government providing counterpart funding