President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said the bank would invest $12 billion in the power sector in Africa in four years with the aim of leveraging on the aviation sector.
Adesina disclosed this in an interview in Abuja.
According to him, the aviation sector was very important to the continent but that it could not operate in the dark. He said the sector was very important to Africa because it accounted for about $73 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and created about 7 million jobs across the continent.
”Without electricity, you really cannot operate any effective and efficient airline industry and so this is one of the top priorities of the bank.
“We are investing in the power sector $12 billion in the next four years with the goal of leveraging between $45 to $50 million in this sector because I firmly believe that Africa cannot develop in the dark.
“So we must fast track that and when we have electricity, everything functions, even for the aviation industry and the tourism industry is actually quite linked to the avaiation industry as well.”
The AfDB President said the bank had invested over $20 billion on infrastructure in Africa in the last 10 years, specifically $1 billion in the aviation sector.
He said the bank’s investment in the sector covered building new airports in Ghana, Senegal, Casablanca and building of new infrastructure in Morocco.
As for Nigeria, Adesina said the government was developing a new aviation sector investment plan, adding that the government was interested in a number of areas.
“First is we are looking at how to support more investment in airport infrastructure; they are also looking at how to create aircraft maintenance, repair and also overhaul facility.
“But one of the biggest problems in Africa is we do not have any aircraft leasing facilities and that is one of the things that the government is looking at.
“We are looking at upgrading some of the navigational infrastructure.
“So as a bank, we are very strong supporters of the government.
“Once the government comes up with its plan and what that really means in terms of the need, then we can play the role that they are asking us to play but we do not make decisions for the government” he said.