The World Bank Group has invested about $10.734 billion in projects and programmes in Nigeria.
The bank’s delegation of 10 executive directors which visited the country last week, said it was excited with the economy’s return to growth and pledged more collaboration to accelerate the growth rate.
A breakdown of the bank’s total investment showed that Nigeria Country Partnership Strategy extending to FY19 has an investment of $8.8 billion through the International Development Association, IDA, and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD.
The International Finance Corporation, IFC, has a commitment $1.6 billion, which is IFC’s fifth largest global country exposure; while Nigeria is MIGA’s fifth largest country exposure in sub-Saharan Africa, with $334 million in current exposure.
On the visit, the leader of the team, Dr. Patrizio Pagano, who is the Executive Director for Italy, Albania, Greece, Malta, Portugal, San Marino and Timor-Leste, was quoted in a statement by the bank, yesterday, as saying “Our visit to Nigeria is to help us get a better understanding of the country context, assess the World Bank’s interventions on the ground, and support opportunities that will keep the country on a path of sustained development.
“We commend Nigeria’s implementation of its new Economic Growth and Recovery Plan, EGRP, and the Power Sector Recovery Plan, PSRP, both of which are important for regional integration to ensure trade and capital flows, which will ultimately lead to greater growth.”
The EDs held discussions with the Vice President of Nigeria, the Minister of Finance, Executive Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Edo, Lagos, Taraba and Yobe, other senior government officials at the federal and state level.
They discussed the security challenges in the North East and Middle Belt region and how to achieve development in this challenging environment
The bank stated: “The Executive Directors met with beneficiaries (including from the North East) of the WBG supported projects program in agriculture, education, health, youth employment, community development, soil erosion and public financial management; as well as representatives of the private sector, civil society organizations, diplomatic missions and development partners.
“During their time in Nigeria, they visited the newly commissioned Azura-Edo Power Plant in Benin City, which is a key project in the government’s power sector reform agenda and is supported by three arms of the World Bank Group, i.e. the International Finance Corporation, IFC, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, MIGA, and the World Bank.
“In Lagos, the delegation also visited microfinance clients, mostly women, to gain an understanding on how the funds they receive impact their livelihoods; and they had an interactive meeting with private sector executives, which highlighted the need to sustain business reforms and provide affordable and reliable power to improve the living standards of all Nigerians and ensure that the private sector can play its role in job creation and inclusive growth.
“The Executive Directors observed that Nigeria continues to implement institutional policy reforms for restoring macroeconomic resilience and growth across sectors with support from the World Bank Group.
“They reiterated the World Bank Group’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s growth in a way that is inclusive, job enhancing, and reduces poverty and inequality.
“Critical to this inclusive growth objective is reforming the power sector, boosting critical investments in human development, and mobilising finance for development by creating conducive environment for private sector participation.
The Directors emphasized the importance of Nigeria to the sub-region and therefore the country’s central role in the WBG’s regional strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa.”