The President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, during the 2017 Annual Meeting Press Conference noted that the bank scaled up its support in the North-East of Nigeria to help rebuild livelihoods in a region that is home to 1.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

He said this was inline with President Muhammadu Buhari’s request, that the global apex bank should help rebuild the North East region.

The World Bank, just concluded its annual finance ministers and central bank governors spring meeting where they discussed on improving the lives of member countries in the coming year.

While addressing the press Obinna Chima from Thisday Newspapers asked Mr. Kim, a question “what can you tell us about Nigeria, specifically your intervention in the power sector, and also, what is the World Bank doing to support those ravaged in the northeastern part of Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorists?

His response, “You know, in my very first meeting with President Buhari he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that. Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult”.

Kim highlighted the difficulties and challenges the Boko Haram insurgency has taken mostly on the six northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe.

It is estimated that some 15 million people have been impacted by the crisis.

The World Bank chief also highlighted how the country has been hit by the drop in crude price, a major source of revenue for Africa’s largest economic house.

`I think Nigeria, of course, has suffered from the dropping oil prices. I think things are just now getting better. But the conversation we need to have with Nigeria, I think, is in many ways related to the theme that I brought to the table just this past week, which is investment in human capital. The percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that Nigeria spends on healthcare is less than one percent”.

Kim added, “Despite that, there is so much turbulence in the northern part of the country, and there is the hit that was taken from the drop in the oil prices. Nigeria has to think ahead and invest in its people. Investing in the things that will allow Nigeria to be a thriving, rapidly growing economy in the future is what the country has to focus on right now.”

The World Bank President, also brought respite when he said “Focusing on the northern part of Nigeria, we hope that as commodity prices stabilise and oil prices come back up, the economy will grow a bit more. But very, very much important is the need to focus on what the drivers of growth in the future will be.”

The International Monetary Fund, reaffirmed its growth of 0.8% growth forecast on the Nigerian economy which the fund hinged on the recovery in the oil production and the current agricultural revolution of the President Buhari’s government.

Credit: SwitchMedia