The World Bank Group yesterday launched the new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) to help the Federal and State Governments boost development for the Nigerian people.
A statement from the World Bank said the CPS aims to make the objectives and outcomes of the strategy known to all beneficiaries, namely the federal and state government officials, the MDAs (federal and state), media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the private sector, academics, researchers, professionals and other stakeholders.
According to the World Bank, Nigeria is now recognized as Africa’s largest economy, following its recent GDP rebasing exercise that was fully supported by it.
The World Bank said the new strategy’s endorsement comes at an opportune time just as Nigeria is redoubling its efforts to tackle critical development challenges and is committing itself to lift major constraints that are hindering it from achieving broad-based, inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction goals.
The new partnership strategy, jointly developed with the Government of Nigeria, is supportive of the country’s Vision 20: 2020 plan and its Transformation Agenda; which sets out Nigeria’s long-term development objectives and the medium-term strategy for operationalizing this vision.
The strategy includes support for a bold and ambitious program of development targets and interventions for the next four years.
Specifically, the World Bank Group’s support for Nigeria is structured around three strategic priorities: Promoting growth and job creation by reforming the power sector, enhancing agricultural productivity, and increasing access to finance; Improving the quality and efficiency of social service delivery at the State level to promote social inclusion and Strengthening governance and public sector management, with gender equity and conflict sensitivity as essential elements of governance.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minster of Finance said “the new strategy supports our development objective,”
The Minister also disclosed that “the World Bank was supporting the Government create jobs, access to finance as well as “helping in starting a housing revolution in the country.”
“The new strategy is a joint product, developed in close consultation with the Government of Nigeria and stakeholders under the Country Assistance Framework, a strategic platform developed by Nigeria’s partners to coordinate interventions and leverage resources to deliver strong results and development solutions. It reflects Nigeria’s development aspirations and commits the World Bank Group to working hand-in-hand to unleash Nigeria’s potential for the benefit of all Nigerians,” said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria.
At the launch, The Governor of Kogi State,Idris Ichalla Wada called on Nigerians to “take ownership of the Country Partnership Strategy to ensure adequate dissemination as well as implementation of the document.”
On his part, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Edo State described the Bank as a useful partner and expressed appreciation for the work being done in his state in the areas of agriculture, health, infrastructure, flood and erosion control as well as open governance.
According to him, ” apart from making money available, the World Bank should be more interested in helping us better manage our resources and improve our efficiency. We see you as a leading light and pillar in the development of Edo State.”
The new CPS which covers the period of FY2014-2017 introduces a change in the country’s borrowing status. Nigeria has been declared credit worthy for IBRD financing and officially entered blend status from July 1, 2014.
This means Nigeria can access World Bank Group funds through the International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).