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World Bank portfolio in Nigeria hits $12bn

The World Bank’s portfolio in Nigeria now amounts to more than $12billion, the Bretton Woods institution has said. The Vice President for Western Africa at the World Bank, Ousmane Diagana, disclosed this during a conference call yesterday. According to him, the World Bank regards Nigeria as a very important partner because any investment it makes in Africa’s largest economy will have some positive impact on African countries. He said: “As we speak, we have probably the largest portfolio of the World Bank in Nigeria. More than $12 billion.

Those are programs under implementation covering a variety of sectors, access to electricity, water, education, health, agriculture. “Especially for this year, indeed, we have prepared a pipeline–we had a pipeline of a number of programs and we have delivered about $2 billion for Nigeria in order to help the population have access to critical services but also to support governments and institutions to provide some technical assistance to a variety of stakeholders.” Continuing, he stated: “The conversation of when Nigeria continues around some of the critical reforms that I think Nigeria has been waiting for some time…” Also commenting on the Bank’s activities in Nigeria, President of the World Bank, Mr. David Malpass, said: “ Throughout Africa, if one of the major economies can do well, it has very positive synergy with its neighbors, and that’s one of our primary goals, to have successful economies that then bring synergy with neighbors, because that’s a way that there can be massive progress in Africa.”

Responding to a question on when the World Bank would approve Nigeria’s request for a $1.5billion support loan, Malpass said that with Nigeria’s huge potential, the country’s economic growth will be rapid if there are improvements in economic policies. He stated: “We’ve encouraged efforts that would reduce the subsidies for fossil fuels that would encourage trade across borders, where Nigeria could be doing more in that area. “And very importantly, the multiple exchange rates has been a burden on the people of Nigeria, and we’ve encouraged the elimination of the official rates and the unification of rates so that money and investment and remittances can flow in and out of Nigeria with less friction. So, our program remains strongly supportive of the people of Nigeria and of Nigeria”.

 

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