The World Bank is focusing on Northen Nigeria based on the directives of Buhari
President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim said they were focusing their effort on the northern part of Nigeria based on the directive of President Buhari.
“You know, in my very first meeting with President Buhari he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that. Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult”, he stated.
Kim and Christine Lagarde,the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), also advised Buhari to invest in initiatives that would enhance economic growth.
“I think Nigeria, of course, has suffered from the dropping oil prices. I think things are just now getting better. But the conversation we need to have with Nigeria, I think, is in many ways related to the theme that I brought to the table just this past week, which is investment in human capital. The percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that Nigeria spends on healthcare is less than one percent.”
“Despite that, there is so much turbulence in the northern part of the country, and there is the hit that was taken from the drop in the oil prices. Nigeria has to think ahead and invest in its people. Investing in the things that will allow Nigeria to be a thriving, rapidly growing economy in the future is what the country has to focus on right now”, he continued.
Jim Yong Kim also said, “Focusing on the northern part of Nigeria, we hope that as commodity prices stabilise and oil prices come back up, the economy will grow a bit more. But very, very much important is the need to focus on what the drivers of growth in the future will be.”
As regards the bank’s broader plan for Africa, he said to prepare the continent for the next phase of growth, they would invest in human capital in other parts of Africa.
Christine Lagarde stated that Sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, had posted sub-optimal growth in recent times.
She remarked that the growth figures were far too minimal considering the huge demographic potential of Nigeria and other countries in the region.
“The Sub-Saharan Africa is one region of the world where growth is suboptimal. Those countries grow at an average growth of 2.5 per cent. That is too low for the demographic expansion of the region”.
As a result, she said the IMF would be engaging ministers of finance and central bank governors from the region attending the annual World Bank and IMF meetings on how they could best boost and stabilise economic growth.
This has left many Nigerians furious as they believe that the President immensely favours the North, some believe this decision taken may be due to the fact that the area has been ravaged by the Boko Haram countless times.
A lot of criticism have followed Buhari concerning this issue, this might buttress the idea that he has set out to boost development in the North.
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