The World Bank has reiterated its commitment to supporting Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Programmes. The acting country director of the bank, Nigeria, Khairy AlJamal made this known during a briefing held at the country office in Abuja, recently, to introduce the April, 2018 edition of the African Pulse, a bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies conducted by the World Bank. According to him, the World Bank has continued to work with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), in collaboration with other development partners on a range of critical reforms for restoring macroeconomic resilience to further strengthen economic growth. He said: “This as we know is in line with the twin goal to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. The World Bank is committed, through a varied range of the Nigeria portfolio, to support the federal government with programmes aimed at improving infrastructure, both physical and economic; improving human capital and enacting social policies that would increase opportunities for the poor and vulnerable.
“Nigeria continues to take strides in economic and regulatory reforms.
For instance, the implementation of the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP). The report (African Pulse) recognises Nigeria as one of the few sub-Saharan countries which is undertaking significant regulatory reforms to lower barriers in mini-grid investment.’’ According to the report which was presented thereafter by Albert Zeufack, the World Bank chief economist for the African Region, Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth is projected to reach 3.1 percent in 2018, and to average 3.6 percent in 2019–20, and the moderate pace of economic expansion reflects the gradual pick-up in growth in the region’s three largest economies, Nigeria, Angola and South Africa. Meanwhile, the president of the World Bank, Jim Young Kim has called on African leaders to invest more in human capital, focusing more on health and education as he joined the international Monetary Fund (IMF) in emphasising the need to cut back on debts.
Kim, speaking at the World Bank press briefing in Washington DC, noted that as technology continues to grow and the world shifts towards technology, there is need for governments to focus on investing in people such that they will be able to contribute to the growth of the economies as technology takes over small jobs. The World Bank President noted that as technology continues to advance, “many low skill jobs will be taken over by technology. Technology is one thing that can help Africa leap and drive growth.” He stressed the need for governments to invest more in health and education saying children need access to these infrastructures so that their brains can develop early. He also called for agriculture subsides as well as increased tax revenue.
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