The World Bank has indicated its willingness to provide technical support for Nigeria in critical areas to facilitate her economic growth and development. The World Bank’s Vice-President for Africa, Mr Hafez Ghanem, who gave the indication in Abuja during a discussion with the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said the lender accorded Nigeria top priority in its considerations.
He said the Bank would be willing to provide technical support for Nigeria in the areas of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan mid-term review, power sector reform, Public-Private Partnerships as well as population management.
The World Bank is also disposed to providing technical support on the ERGP delivery, performance tracking and reporting, capacity building for sector officials and economic modelling for policy analysis and forecasting, Ghanem stated, adding that the bank would increase its support for Nigeria’s Social Investment Programme.
Udoma stated that it would be appreciated if the World Bank Vice-President could help designate a special session during the forthcoming International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings in Indonesia to enable Nigerian representatives speak to participants about the ERGP so as to be able to attract more investments into the country to further facilitate the achievements of the objectives and targets of the plan.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, appreciated the Bank’s assistance in the area of security, social investment and the cash transfer programme; and asked for further support, especially in the management of Nigeria’s growing population and inclusive growth.
According to her, if Nigeria succeeds in the Sustainable Development Goals, it will make a major contribution to the continent being able to meet the targets set for Africa. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has called for the support of the World Bank to accelerate the reforms in the power sector. The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, made the call during a meeting with Ghanem in Abuja on Thursday.
The successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria were privatised on November 1, 2013 and sold to investors that year. But since the sector was privatised, many electricity consumers have been complaining about poor supply by the DISCOS, a development that recently led to heated exchanges between the Minister of Power, Mr Babatunde Fashola, and the power firms.
Speaking during the meeting, Adeosun said the World Bank had enough expertise in the power sector to assist the Federal Government to accelerate the reforms in the power sector. She said the need to accelerate the reforms in the power sector was one of the major priorities of the Federal Government, noting that this would help to boost the Nation’s economy.