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World Bank Net Commitment To Nigeria Hits $11bn

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Country director, World Bank Group, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, has said that the bank’s net commitment to Nigeria over the years is about $11billion.

He disclosed this in Abuja yesterday 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 that 60 per cent of the bank’s programmes were implemented at the state level and another 40 per cent by the Federal Government.

Benmessaoud said that 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 that 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 that 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.

Speaking about the awards, the country director said that it was introduced to recognise the various entities that were involved in implementing the bank’s programmes in terms of their performance.

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.

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