Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Nigeria gets bulk of W’bank portfolio in Africa

Nigeria is said to have so far obtained a net commitment of about $11billion from the World Bank Group, making it one of the largest beneficiaries in Africa.

According to the Country Director of the bank, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, the bank’s portfolio in Nigeria was among the largest in the entire African region, as it had more than 30 operational projects.

Benmessaoud stated this 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.

He said the bank’s commitment is geared toward projects targeted at alleviating poverty and improving the lives of the people.

About 60 percent of the bank’s programmes were implemented at the state level and another 40 percent by the Federal Government, with projects cutting across health, education, agriculture, social protection, energy, infrastructure, and governance among others.

Benmessaoud 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.

“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,” he explained.

Mr Mahmud Isa-Dutse, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, restated the ministry’s commitment to the World Bank in building an enabling environment to manage its portfolio in Nigeria.

He added that the ministry would assist the bank deliver on all its projects implementation.

The best performing state on disbursement North Nigeria by volume went to Yobe, Southern Nigeria by volume went to Oyo state and by disbursement ratio to Ebonyi.

Best performing state by region for North East went to Yobe, North West to Kano, North Central to Kogi, South West to Oyo, South South to Akwa Ibom and South East to Ebonyi.

The overall best performing state across the federation for Investment Project Financing Instrument went to Yobe, while Performance for Result Instrument and best state coordination mecahnism went to Kaduna State.


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