- Premium Times
World Bank commitment to Nigeria hits $11 billion — Country Director
The Country Director, World Bank Group, Rachid Benmessaoud, says the bank’s net commitment to Nigeria over the years is about $11 billion.
He said this on Thursday in Abuja at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Portfolio Performance Award.
Organised in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, the award was to recognise and honour outstanding performance from project implementation units of World Bank supported projects at states and federal levels.
According to him, the bank’s commitment is geared toward projects targeted at alleviating poverty and improving the lives of the people.
He said 60 per cent of the bank’s programmes were implemented at the state level and another 40 per cent by the federal government.
Mr Benmessaoud said the bank’s portfolio in Nigeria was among the largest in the entire African region, adding that it had more than 30 operational projects.
He said the projects cut across health, education, agriculture, social protection, energy, infrastructure, and governance among others in the 36 states of Nigeria, including the FCT.
He also said the bank was working toward a new country partnership framework that would outline the new reform challenges that the government faces and how it could support it in implementing solutions to the challenges.
“The country partnership strategy is always anchored on the economic reform plan of the government and in this case, we have used the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
“Which is the medium term programme of the government on which we are anchoring our country partnership framework.
“We have plans to scale up our commitment but you know the scale up is not only about funding.
“One can say it is really important to realise that even if we scale up, it will not be sufficient to address the large gap that is needed to be filled.
“We feel that the world bank can play a catalytic role in creating a conducive environment for private sector to finance infrastructure so that we can create the fiscal space for the government to put more money in human capital and in social spending.’’