The Agence Française de Développement (AFD), a French Development Financial Institution, said it committed about 278 million dollars in funding some development projects in Nigeria in 2015.
It said in its 2015 Annual Report in Abuja on Thursday that the fund was spent on the development of infrastructure and other sustainable projects.
In the report signed by the agency’s Acting Country Director, Hugo Pierrel, it said that 2015 was a landmark year, adding that it devoted 55 per cent of its funding to climate change issues.
The agency said that it had two agreements of sovereign loans in March, 2015, to finance the Lagos Integrated Urban Development Project (Eko-UP) and the Ogun State Urban Water Supply Project (OgUWaSP).
It explained that Eko-UP, which cost 100 million dollars, was targeted at improving the livelihood of the most vulnerable urban population in Lagos metropolis, and for enhancing the management and treatment of solid waste.
It added that the project also aimed at strengthening the capacity of Lagos state to implement integrated urban development projects.
According to the report, OgUWaSP, which cost 33 million dollars, is targeted at increasing the coverage, steadiness and the quality of water supply in the state capital (Abeokuta).
It said that the project would also support in improving the financial viability of existing water utility, and the governance of water sector in the state.
The agency said that there was also another financing agreement signed in October, 2015, with Guarantee Trust Bank to guarantee its loan to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for N3 billion (about 13.5 million Euros).
It said that in December, 2015, there was a financing agreement of 130 million dollars with the Federal Government to contribute to the set-up of the Development Bank of Nigeria.
It stated that the loan was for the improvement of access to finance for Macro Small and Medium size Enterprises (MSMEs), adding that the project was co-financed by the World Bank, EIB, AfDB, and KfW.
It also disclosed that the agency committed about 8.3 billion Euros to support different developmental projects across the world during the period.
“Sub-Saharan Africa remained the priority of AFD in 2015 and financing in this region reached a record amount of 3.1 billion Euros, which represents 38 per cent of AFD’s commitments, a six per cent increase compared to 2014.
“Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 81 per cent of the financial efforts of France in 2015.
“More than half of the projects supported by AFD in Sub-Saharan Africa involve the development of infrastructure, access to essential services, growth of sustainable cities, family farming and the preservation of natural resources,” it stated.
Other projects, it said, included the development of job-creating enterprises, strengthening human capital via education, vocational training, social protection and healthcare.
The agency explained that in Sept. 2015, it adopted a five-year Sahel Regional Action Plan, which it said was a specific strategy of operations to be implemented on three priority areas of employment, demography and integration of territories.
It said that the implementation of the plan would be done in consultation with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).