FG seeks $150m loan from World Bank to revive ailing mining industry

The Federal Government yesterday said it had begun negotiation for a $150 million loan from the World Bank to commence the Mindiver Project aimed at resuscitating the ailing mining industry.

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this at the 53rd Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) conference in Abuja, said the bank’s board was about to consider the concessional loan.

He noted that the government is building technical and managerial skills and capabilities locally to ensure supply of steady talent required by the sector in the future, as well as invest in infrastructure, gender equity and improve access to finance.

He said: “We anticipate contribution to mining gross domestic product to exceed $25 billion by 2026 as industries are better to use the output of the sector to substitute for imports and create environment to support enterprise.

“We need to ensure that our industrial and energy minerals strategy prioritises domestic utilisation of our assets, including getting our steel sector to provide a solid backbone for manufacturing and industrial economy.”

The minister, however, maintained that analysis conducted by major stakeholders in the sector has showed that “we can generate at least N5 trillion yearly from mining and exporting of its vast solid mineral deposits in the country.”

President of NMGS, Prof. Olugbenga Okunlola, said an investor-friendly environment is very necessary for success.


Source: The Guardian

Nigeria to get $200 million loan from World Bank to boost Agriculture

The World Bank has approved a $200 million loan to Nigeria to support the government’s effort to boost agriculture.

The loan from the International Development Association, World Bank’s low-interest arm, has a maturity of 25 years with a grace period of
five years.

The loan, is to support small and mid-scale farmers.

The bank, in a statement on Friday, said about 60,000 individuals will benefit directly from the funding, of which 35 percent are women.

Similarly, about 300,000 farming households will be affected indirectly.

Nigeria slipped into its first recession in 25 years in 2016, brought on by low prices of crude oil. It has been trying to diversify away from hydrocarbons, build infrastructure and boost agriculture.

But the World Bank, in its statement, said, “Priority value chains … will include products with potential for immediate improvement of food security, products with a potential for export and foreign currency earnings.”

The funds will help tackle low yields, lack of seed capital to set up agro-factories, low-level adoption of technology and limited access to markets, the bank said.

Records show that Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, spends $20 billion a year importing food.

With the fall in oil prices, it has been running short of dollars, which has also weakened the local currency, the Naira.

In February, the Nigerian government unveiled an economic recovery plan, tagged Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, which included currency reforms to boost tax revenues.

The ERGP, among other objectives, also aims to achieve self-sufficiency in rice by 2018 and in wheat by 2019 or 2020.

By the latter date, it also hopes to be a net exporter of rice, cashew nuts, groundnuts, cassava and vegetable oil, some of the crops the World Bank loan is meant to finance.

In January, a report released by the Famine Early Warning System Network, FEWS NET, an agency supported by the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, had warned that Nigeria faced a credible risk of famine in 2017.

The report noted that due to persistent conflict, severe drought and economic instability, Nigeria and three other countries – Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen – were likely to be hit by famine (IPC phase 5).

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, is expected to warn Nigeria by the end of the month on its economy recovery plan.

The Washington-based organisation is not satisfied with the economic plans put in place by Africa’s largest economy, aimed at dragging it out of recession.

“Further actions are urgently needed,” the IMF said in its 68-page report, due to be released March 29.


Source: Premium Times

World Bank to raise $1.6b to combat hunger in Nigeria, others.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong-Kim on Thursday said the bank was working toward raising 1.6 billion dollars to build social protection systems to end food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and Yemen.

In a statement made available to newsmen by the Head of Communications, World Bank Nigeria in Abuja, Mrs Olufunke Olufon, Yong-Kim said about 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen were on the “tipping point” of famine.

“We at the World Bank Group stand in solidarity with the people now threatened by famine.

“We are mobilising an immediate response for Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Our first priority is to work with partners to make sure that families have access to food and water.“We are working toward a financial package of more than 1.6 billion dollars to build social protection systems, strengthen community resilience, and maintain service delivery to the most vulnerable.’’

Yong-Kim said he was also working with the bank’s board of directors to secure the approval of new operations amounting to 770 million dollars, funded substantially through the International Development Association (IDA) Crisis Response Window.

“The World Bank Group will help respond to the immediate needs of the current famine, but we must recognise that famine will have lasting impacts on people’s health, ability to learn, and earn a living.

“So, we will also continue to work with communities to reclaim their livelihoods and build resilience to future shocks. We are coordinating closely with the UN and other partners in all areas of our response.

“We know that resolution to this acute crisis will not be possible without all humanitarian and development actors working together.

“We call on the international community to respond robustly and quickly to the UN global appeal for resources for the famine.’’

Famine was officially declared on Feb. 20 in South Sudan, impacting approximately 100,000 people.

There is a credible risk of famines in Yemen, Northeast Nigeria, and other countries, says United Nations (UN).

Ongoing conflicts and civil insecurity are further intensifying the food insecurity of millions of people across the region, and there is already widespread displacement and other cross-border spillover.

For instance, food insecurity in Somalia and famine in South Sudan are accelerating the flow of refugees into Ethiopia and Uganda.

The UN estimates that about 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are affected.

World Bank Report: 75 million Nigerians lack access to electricity.

Nigeria is second to India on the list of countries with the highest electricity access deficit with 75 million people compared to India’s 263 million persons.

According to a new World Bank report, other countries on the list of nations with highest electricity access deficit are Ethiopia with 67 million; Bangladesh 62 million; Congo Democratic Republic with 55 million; Tanzania with 40 million; Kenya with 33 million; Uganda with 30 million; Sudan with 25 million; and Myanmar with 25 million people.

According to the report, an energy scorecard released on Monday, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sudan alone have 116 million people without adequate electricity.

The authors noted that energy access, efficiency and renewables are on the rise in many developing nations, but in places like sub-Saharan Africa, the energy situation is still grim and hundreds of millions remain unconnected.

According to the report, access is, in part, a financial issue in these countries. In many sub-Saharan Africa countries, people pay more than $500 to connect to the grid, while in another developing country, Bangladesh, the cost is as little as $22.

Senior Director and Head of Energy and Extractives at the World Bank, Riccardo Puliti, said: “Africa has long been the least electrified, and power there cannot keep up with population growth. Those disparities won’t disappear without policies encouraging both private and public investment.”

According to the report, for much of the world, however, renewables are growing fast: 93 per cent of countries have renewable energy targets, and more than three-quarters have supporting legislation.

This growth, however, needs more focus. Just 39 per cent of countries have studied how to integrate renewables such as solar and wind power into their current electrical grids, the authors found.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sustainable Energy for All, a sustainable energy initiative launched by the United Nations in 2011, Rachel Kyte, said: “The world is in a race to secure a clean energy transition. The underlying message is that we must go further and faster.”

Besides, Energy economics global lead for the World Bank Group, Vivien Foster, said: “African countries on the whole scored very poorly, with as many as 40 per cent barely beginning policy measures to accelerate access to energy. African countries on the whole scored very poorly.”


Source: The Guardian

We’ve not decided the amount to collect from World Bank, says FG.

The federal government says it is yet to decide the amount of loan it will obtain from the World Bank for the 2017 budget?.

Udoma Udoma, minister of budget and national? planning, said this at the end of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.?

He explained that the amount approved by the national assembly would determine the actual deficit that the facility is needed for.

?”The figure we will borrow depends on the budget approved by the national assembly,” he said.

“We are waiting for the passage of the budget by the national assembly so that we will know the budget gap or the actual deficit before we can go to the World Bank for loan.”

President Muhammadu Buhari presented a budget proposal of N7.3 trillion to a joint session of the national assembly in December.

He told lawmakers that the budget would stimulate the economy and bring the country out of recession.

Udoma also spoke on the over subscription of Nigeria’s Eurobond. The $1bn Eurobond was oversubscribed by almost eight times.

He said the development showed the world’s strong appetite for Nigeria, adding that the government had the plans to launch another savings bond.?

“Because of the funding constraints, the budget has a deficit, I travelled with the minister of finance and CBN governor to market out Eurobond,” he said.

“As you can see, the Eurobond was oversubscribed by over 8 times, so the funds are coming in, there is more stability in the Niger-Delta, so more monies are coming in.”

On why the FEC meeting lasted over seven hours, Udoma said the council was fine-tuning the economy recovery growth plan.

“A lot of inputs were made by council members and it is virtually ready for the president to launch,” he said.

“However, we are doing some fine-tuning and during this period we also do some final consultation before the president launches the plan.

“The goal of the plan is to have an economy with low inflation, stable exchange rate and a diversified inclusive and sustaining growth.

“The proposed initiatives outlined in the plan are designed to address the country’s poor competitiveness, improve business environment and attract investment and infrastructure, especially power, roads, rails and ports.

“Let me add that there will be additional consultations that we agreed in cabinet that we will be making and one of the people we will be consulting will be labour before the plan is finalised.”

BREAKING: World Bank agrees to approve $2.5bn loan for Nigeria.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, better known as the World Bank has agreed to give Nigeria $2.5bn loan.

One of the conditions for the release of the initial tranche of $1.5bn is a reform of Nigeria’s Forex market.

Business Day, a leading newspaper, tweeted this on Wednesday.


Since January 2016, the federal government has been in talks with the bank on the loan.

After a meeting with the executive of bank in Washington DC in May, Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, said the loan was required to bridge the N1.8trn  deficit in the budget, and also to fund infrastructural projects.

“We had discussions with the World Bank around our budget support request and we have been able to have very productive meetings to understand what the next steps are in the process and we are very positive of a good outcome,” she had said.

Governor El-Rufai and key members of his cabinet hosts World Bank officials

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and some key members of his cabinet, on Wednesday, played host to World Bank officials at the state government house.


This was made known in the pictures shared on social media few minutes ago by one of the governor’s aide.


The early morning meeting with the World Bank officials was aimed at strengthening partnership on the development of the state.


Details of the meeting would be made public soon.


See photos below:









IMF, World Bank no longer fit for purpose, says Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, two-time minister of finance, says the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are no longer fit for purpose.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, on the theme ‘Who can lead a Multipolar world?’, Okonjo-Iweala called on the Bretton Woods institutions to adapt to the world we live in+ and prepare for the realities of the future.

The former vice-president of the World Bank was joined by Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore.

Mahbubani, who spoke ahead of Okonjo-Iweala, called on the United Nations to evolve and change its structure, which was largely built for 70 years ago.

“The west believes it can continue to dominate. My favourite example, Ngozi, hope you dont mind me saying this is that the Europeans believe that the head of the IMF must be European, and the head of the World Bank must be American. Excuse me, those rules were made in 1945, in a different world,” he said.

“You still haven’t had a single Asian or African run these places, clearly these rules are out of date…and that is the core of the problem we face.

“The composition of the UN security council: One of the most provocative things I say is that UK and France are only member of the security council only because they won World War II in 1945. Surely it is time for UK and France to make way for India, or Brazil or Nigeria.”

When it was her turn to speak, Okonjo-Iweala said: “Just to follow up on what Kishore just talked about. If you look at the fact, in terms of contribution to economic growth, emerging countries are contributing more than 50  percent to global growth.

“President Xi said it, China alone is contributing 30 percent. The global south is playing a very important role already, the frustration is that these role is not being recognised.

“There has been evolution of systems to move us from a system of the G-7 to G-20, but even the G-20 leaves out significant important countries. We need a global covenant system that recognises the contribution of developing countries in a much more robust way.

“Coming on to the economic institution, I think if we didn’t have them, the global institutions will need to invent them; we still need those institutions, but the problem is that now they are not fit for purpose.

“They are not following the changes that are faster happening. One, on the different economic shares, two, one the fast move of knowledge and technology, the fact that the world and the workplace is changing very fast.

“We need a global covenant system that would help  developing countries also adapt faster. So it is anomalous not only in terms of the leadership  of the institution, but also in terms of the shares of different countries in these institutions.

“You cannot have a situation where smaller European countries have a greater share in, say, the World Bank or the IMF than China or India.”

She said the systems needed to be adjusted, so that countries could feel an ownership of these institutions. She also said the institutions themselves needed to be adjusted to recognise that knowledge is moving really very fast.


Source: The Cable

W’Bank budgets N12.2bn to clear Apapa gridlock

The World Bank is to support Nigeria’s maritime sector with N12.2bn ($40m) to help clear the traffic congestion that characterises most roads around the Nigerian Ports Authority in Apapa, Lagos, the Nigerian Shippers Council has said.


According to the NSC, the National Freight Information and Transport Hub, an arm of the World Bank, is working with the NPA on how the funds will be used to clear the trucks and tankers that cause heavy gridlock at Apapa, Orile, Tin Can Island and other areas around the Lagos port complex.


The Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello, told journalists in Abuja during a press briefing that the move was aimed at making the NPA more efficient, adding that it would also ensure that oil pipelines were used to transport petroleum products instead of tankers.


He said, “No matter how efficient the terminal is, if you don’t have the road to evacuate cargo, how will you move your goods out of the ports? So, there must be an intervention and in that regard, the NSC has introduced the NAFITH to the NPA. Now, the NAFITH, an international finance corporation and an arm of the World Bank, is bringing $40m to put an end to the traffic situation in Apapa.

“The fund is meant to improve logistics around the Apapa, Tin Can and Orile areas for every time there are over 5,000 trucks on that axis. But what are they doing there? What we need is about 1,500 trucks in that Apapa vicinity logistically, but you find about 5,000. So, what are the other 3,500 trucks doing? They are doing nothing!


“So the idea is to have an electronic passage where a truck is in Apapa only when it is needed to pick or drop cargo. The tankers too don’t need to be there for the pipelines will do the transportation of products. The moment we have the pipelines pumping to Mosimi and other flow stations, then we don’t need the tankers in Apapa. So, all these things are what the World Bank is coming to do in order to solve, once and for all, the gridlock in Apapa.”


Bello noted that maritime sector was a formidable source for the diversification of the Nigerian economy.

Buhari Hails Okoro’s World Bank Appointment

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Ms Sandie Okoro, for her recent appointment as Senior Vice President and General Counsel, World Bank Group.

The President also extended the same felicitations to Ms Nnemkadi Ogwunike on her record breaking achievements in the U.S. Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) League. The two congratulatory messages were signed by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa on Monday in Abuja.

The President described Okoro’s track record in the banking sector as impressive, which has brought a rekindled hope that “Nigerians in the Diaspora with the right atmosphere, are professionally excellent”. Buhari said that “having followed her excellent track records in making Nigeria proud as a nation, there is no doubt in my mind that the sky is your beginning’’.

The president also said Nigeria received the victory of Nnemkadi Ogwunike as the 2016 Most Valuable Player of U.S. WNBA League with utmost pride and deep sense of appreciation to the country. “We were even more excited to learn that you have led your team to clinch the 2016 League Championships, a feat that has been achieved by your team, the Los Angeles Sparks, since 2003.

“It is even more befitting and admirable that, as a true African and Nigerian daughter, you have set a remarkable example for your younger Sister, Chiney Ogwunike. “She (Chiney) joined you to make world history in 2014, when selected by the Connecticut Sun as the Number One draft pick achieved by your team, the Los Angeles Sparks, since 2003’’.

“The legacy you began in 2012, with your selection by the Los Angeles Sparks, making both of you, the second set of siblings to ever be selected number one in any American Sports. “I am truly proud of both of you, and urge you to continue to extol the virtues and strengthen of Nigerian heritage. Your shinning example serves as inspiration to the youths of Nigeria,” the president added. (NAN)

Delta State plants 50,000 trees, partners World Bank on erosion control.

To check the intensity of global warming and deforestation across the state, Delta authorities have commenced planting of no fewer than 50, 000 trees’ in various towns across the 25 Local councils in the state.

The state government also disclosed that three illegal saw millers were recently arrested within Oghara town on a tip off and are currently being prosecuted.

Delta state Commissioner for Environment, Mr. John Nani, who reiterated the ban on the use of handsaw in all forest reserves, said the state government will not renege on the ban, on the use of handsaw in all the forest reserves.

According to him, the ban is a means of checking rapid deforestation and the menace of illegal wood across the state.

He stressed that the recent protest support by members of the State Saw millers’ Association, indicated strong support for Okowa led administration pointing out that the tree planting process would ensured replacement of the deforest ones.

“We know the importance of having trees in our forests, irrational wood cutting is not good for the environment, what we have done is to follow the state forestry laws, we want to protect Deltans and ensure the ongoing tree planting is not truncated”. He added.

Commenting on the development, a member of the state saw millers’ association, Mrs. Victoria Umubreme, noted that sawmills in the state were currently operating below installed capacity as a result of irrational tree felling, adding that the recent ban on hand sawing in forests within the state by government, was laudable.

She appealed to the state government for the revitalization of the Sapoba plantation in BC 28 containing 1.8 million Gmelina Arbora trees planted by African Timber and Plywood (AT & P) in 1986 that indiscriminately divested by hand sawyers.

Meanwhile, the partnership between World Bank Assisted Programme and the State government has commenced as part of measures to tackle the 23 years erosion of 56 ravaging communities.

Consequently, the World Bank has earmarked $500m dollars to ensure that the menace has no place in the scheme of things in the affected communities including other seven states.

The Guardian investigations revealed that the menace of soil erosion and other forms of environmental degradation in the various parts of the state are sure to be reduced to history with the development.

Speaking to journalists in Asaba, the task team leader of the World Bank sponsored Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, (NEWMAP), Dr. Amos Abu said the World Bank will give needed support to the Delta State government with a view to ensuring that issues associated with soil erosion in the affected communities were nipped in the bud.

Some areas heavily ravaged areas by erosion which were inspected include; Ukwu-Nzu, Obomkpa Communities, Ubulu-Uku, Boji Boji Owa, Agbor, some part of Kwale and Otuogu in Asaba where houses in the past 23 years have been destroyed.

Mr. Abu disclosed that the World Bank has provided five million dollars (N500m) for the erosion projects and commended the Delta State government for the release of the N500 million counterpart funds to the World Bank for Delta State to benefit from the project.

The Acting National Project Co-ordinator, (NEWMAP), Ruth Peter Mishellia, said 19 states of the federation would benefit from the project, adding that the current focus were on seven states; Abia, Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Delta, Imo and Edo States.

Give women loans – Okonjo-Iweala

Former Minister of Finance and co-chair, Women’s World Banking, Africa Advisory Council, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that giving the 70 per cent of women, who are financially excluded in sub-Saharan Africa, access to financial services could spur the next phase of economic growth within the continent and hasten recovery in most parts of Africa.

Speaking at a Banking for Women programme hosted by Diamond Bank in partnership with Women World Banking, Africa Advisory Council in Lagos, Okonjo-Iweala said it was important for governments, central banks and finance ministries to formulate policies that are geared towards empowering women financially.

She noted that globally, two billion people are excluded from financial services and including 1.6 billion of them can raise local GDP by six per cent by 2025. She stated that part of the number to be included, more than half (808 million) are women.

She said: “There is one common theme globally and that is the theme of uncertainty and I think that uncertainty is coming from an unprecedented area of low global growth, the fact that the recovery from the 2008/2009 financial and economic crisis has been slower than expected and that recovery is very fragile. So, you have a situation where global growth has been reversed downwards one more time by the International Monetary Fund, IMF, to 3.1 per cent.

“Demand seems to be low, inflation in the northern countries is low and Africa is not doing as well as it should because of the commodities import and derailment of good policies. World trade is also very slow and you have the political bottlenecks; people don’t know.

“But, I believe that where there is difficulty, there is also opportunity and therefore you have to look at that side and determine where the opportunities are. And that is where the issue of financial inclusion of women and girls and is very important because everyone is searching for what will help spark growth in different economies and even for us here in sub-Saharan Africa. So, it is vitally important for us to look at this issue of financial exclusion of women on the continent.

Seventy per cent of African women are excluded, according to the numbers of access to financial services and if we bring them in, it will present another growth opportunity.

“So, they have done a study to show that including women and people financially can actually raise growth. The study also shows that countries with low women inclusion for example Ethopia, Nigeria etc can even add more to their GDP growth like10- 12 per cent higher than the global number.”

She added to drive the needed growth, government needs to get out the information that including women in businesses improves the bottom-line and that if you bring women into business and empower them, it increases growth of economy.

In his welcome address, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Diamond Bank Plc, Uzoma Dozie, stated that the bank is very passionate about growing and driving financial inclusion.

He said, “We are here today because Diamond Bank is hosting African Advisory Council set up by Women World Banking to promote the financial inclusion of women globally.

“The Women World Banking objective is to by partnership with organisations, donor agencies, banks like Diamond Bank to develop products and services that will enable women to be financially included and add to economic development of countries like Nigeria.”

World Bank supports 11, 000 tomato farmers in Kano.

In the last 10 months, the FADAMA II Additional Financing project financed by the World Bank has supported 10845 farmers comprising 585 youths, 1575 females and 8685 males.

The support, according to Kano State Coordination Office of the programme, was facilitated through the signing of memorandum of understanding between Dangote Tomato Company and Fadama Production Cluster Group on profitable marketing of tomato.

In its Project Implementation Report presented to the Dr. Adetunji Oredipe-led World Bank/FGN 6th Mission on Fadama II Additional
Financing (AF), which visited Kano State, the State Project Coordinator, Alhaji Sha’aibu Sulaiman, said the project similarly, in 2016 cropping season, recorded a disbursement of 89, 195 and 110 for rice, sorghum and tomato production groups respectively.

Sorghum and rice farmers were equally well linked to Grand Cereal and popular rice farm off takers and through collaboration with ICRISAT, sorghum farmers were also linked to Honeywell Company, demanding 150,000mt of sorghum from Fadama farmers in Kano.

In its effort to meet up with the objective of providing employment to youth, the project has prepared four spraying groups comprising ten members each earn a living of N58,500 per month for each person.

In order to build the capacity of farmers toward efficient production, twelve consultants on capacity building have been engaged and they have conducted the Train-of-Trainers seminars for 120 Farmers across eight production clusters of rice, sorghum and tomato.

After screening of 20 youth and women processing groups, eight were supported with tricycles and processing machines. Additionally, eight groups on tomato were also supported with crates.

Kano is among the six core states chosen to participate in Fadama III AF Project, possessing a comparative advantage of large irrigable land and irrigation facilities, high production potentials and large market, as well as Kadawa, the largest producers of tomato in Nigeria. This provided Kano with an advantage to promote sorghum, rice, and tomato value chain over other core states.

World Bank supports 11,000 tomato farmers in Kano.

The FADAMA II Additional Financing project financed by the World Bank has supported a total of 10,845 farmers in the last 10 months.

Out of these beneficiaries, 585 were youth and 1,575 female, while 8,685 were male.

The support, according to the Kano State Coordination office of Fadama, was facilitated through the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Dangote Tomato Company and Fadama Production Cluster Group on profitable marketing of tomato.

In its Project Implementation Report presented to the Dr. Adetunji Oredipe-led World Bank/FGN 6th Mission on Fadama II Additional Financing, which visited Kano State on Monday, the Fadama State Project Coordinator, Alhaji Sha’aibu Sulaiman, informed that the project similarly in the 2016 cropping season recorded a disbursement of 89,195 and 110 for rice, sorghum and tomato production groups respectively.

In the same vein, sorghum and rice farmers were equally well linked to Grand Cereal and popular rice farm off takers and through collaboration with ICRISAT, sorghum farmers were also linked to Honeywell Company, demanding 150,000mt of sorghum from Fadama farmers in Kano.

In its effort to meet up with project objective of providing employment to the youth, the project has prepared four youth spraying groups comprising of 10 members each earn a living of N58,500 per month for each person.

In other to build the capacity of farmers toward efficient production, 12 consultants on capacity building have been engaged and they have conducted the Train-of-Trainers seminars for 120 farmers across eight production clusters of rice, sorghum and tomato.

The project commitment on youths and women empowerment has been demonstrated through screening of 20 youth and women processing groups, out of which eight groups were supported with tricycles and processing machines.

Additionally, eight groups on tomato were also supported with crates.

Kano State is among the six core States chosen to participate in Fadama III AF Project.

Kano State has been found to possess a comparative advantage of large irrigable land and irrigation facilities, high production potentials and large market, as well as Kadawa, the largest producers of tomato in Nigeria.

This provided Kano State with an advantage to promote sorghum, rice, and tomato value chain over other core States.

World Bank raises 2017 crude oil prices’ forecast to $55 per barrel.

The World Bank yesterday revised upwards its 2017 forecast for crude oil prices, raising it from $53 per barrel to $55 per barrel as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) prepare to cut output after a long period of unrestrained output.

The Bank, in its latest Commodity Markets Outlook, projected that energy prices, which include oil, natural gas and coal, will jump almost 25 percent overall next year, a larger increase than anticipated in July, while oil prices are expected to average $43 per barrel this year, unchanged from the July report.

The Senior Economist and lead author of the Commodity Markets Outlook, John Baffes said: “We expect a solid rise in energy prices, led by oil, next year.

However, there is considerable uncertainty around the outlook as we await the details and the implementation of the OPEC agreement, which, if carried through, will undoubtedly impact oil markets.”

The Breton Woods institution also projected modest recovery for most commodities next year as demand is expected to strengthen while supplies will be tight.

On metals and minerals prices, the World Bank forecasts that these are expected to rise 4.1 percent next year, a 0.5 percentage point upward revision due to increasing supply tightness.

“Zinc prices are forecast to rise more than 20 percent following the closure of some large zinc mines and production cuts in earlier years.

Gold is projected to decline slightly next year to $1,219 per ounce as interest rates are likely to rise and safe haven buying ebbs”, it projected.

It would be recalled that over the past months of prolonged lull in the international oil market, prices have ebbed so low that commodity-dependent exporting countries, including Nigeria, have continued to contend the negative fiscal implications for their economies.

FG, World Bank seal $1.3bn SMEs deal.

The Federal Government at the weekend reached an agreement with the World Bank Group and other development partners for the release of about $1.3billion for the funding of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the planned takeoff of the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN).

Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who broke the news at a post event press briefing in Washington DC, USA, stated that upon commencement, the Development Bank of Nigeria would serve as a conduit for government intervention in SMEs and medium sized enterprises as part of efforts to achieve inclusive growth.

Nigerian SMEs account for over 50 per cent of the country’s GDP, but have often been starved of funds due to inappropriate allocation mechanism that involve commercial banks and other stakeholders that are not genuinely committed to their growth.

Adeosun said that with the latest agreement with development partners, efforts are now being geared towards recruiting the key management staff of the bank to enable it commence full operation.

She said, “Agreement was also reached on the final steps for the take off of the Development Bank of Nigeria which had been stopped due to some issues. We have resolved all those issues and the recruitment process has now been finalised with management team put in place.

“This will release $1.3 billion which would be used to support our SMEs which are part of the engine that will spur the growth of our economy. With this development, SME lending at low rates will now be facilitated through the DBN and we are ready to resolve the outstanding issues,” she added.

The minister also said that the Nigerian team got the commitment of global partners including the U.S, United Kingdom, Canada and the World Group to assist the country repatriate illegal financials flows out of Nigeria back into the country to support the financing of critical infrastructures and economic empowerment programmes of the administration.

“We had a number of specific bilateral meetings with UK Department for International Development, the US treasury and other partners and pbased on the need to reverse the trend of illegal financial flows out of Nigeria,” said Adeosun. “We have agreed on a number of initiatives to achieve significant repatriation of monies illegally taken out of the country. These include monies that have been taken by way of illegal tax repatriation, tax avoidance as well as those illegally stolen by past government officials,” she added.

She however said that details of the agreement on repatriation of illicit financial flows would be made public after she had brief President Buhari on the matter.

Meanwhile, the minister said the Nigerian government delegation also held high a level discussion on the challenges in the power sector, largely bother on financial limitations, stressing that government has agreed to hold a workshop in Abuja in November 2016 with the World Bank Group, IFC, Multilateral Investment Credit Guarantee Agency (MIGA) which provided partial risk guarantees the Ministries of Power, Finance the Central Bank CBN, NNPC for the gas perspective, the GENCOs, DISCOs all the stakeholders in the power sector. She said the World Bank Group would be bringing its specialist power finance team to see how they can proffer financial solutions to the challenges of nigeria’s power sector. She stated that work on the proposed $1billion Eurobond has been concluded and that the Federal Government would soon appoint the various parties ahead of its formal launch.

Other high level meetings attended by the nigerian team included one with JICA, the Japan international cooperation agency and we secured their commitment to facilitate trade and investment in Nigeria, specifically they have agreed to make investments in agriculture, fisheries sector and we have made progress on the Jebba hydro projects which is also a power project.

“Our constituency which represents South Africa, Nigeria and Angola had a meeting here and we reviewed the fact that the allocation to our constituency are among the poorest particularly from the IFC is unacceptably low. So what we have agreed to do is that we will be hosting a meeting in Abuja in March for the three finance ministers and the idea is that we will benchmark and scale up our technical capacity to ensure that we are able to get more of what is available for the three countries. We also secured commitments from the Canadian ministry of finance to support us for roads and the they have successfully developed a PPP platform for road investment and they have offered to support us on the technical front in that regard.

The delegation also presented the family home fund which our affordable housing project to a number of prospective investors and development partners including the world bank, IFC, MIGA and the Islamic Development Bank, we’ve already received indicative interest and we’ll be coming back to tie up those funding commitments.

I’m We plan and have agreed technical support in the area of domestic revenue mobilization and we’re going to make more use of the IMF’s online training in financial management, we will be incentivizing our staff who are interested in taking these courses to do so.

Also speaking at the briefing Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele restated commitment of the bank to fine tune the flexible exchange rate to meet the needs of the business community.

“But what we only have to talk about is fine-tuning few aspects of it, in terms of the implementation of the content of that document. That is why I said we would from time to time, continue to look at it. As we are looking at it, I repeat, we would see how we would continue to fine tune it, to the extent that whatever we are putting in place would be such that would benefit Nigerians, improve their lives as well as the country.”

World Bank partners Adamawa to spend $7.5m on Agriculture

The Adamawa Government on Friday said it would partner the World Bank to spend 7.5 million dollars (about N3.54 billion) to fund agriculture programmes in the state.

The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Waziri Ahmadu, said this at the commencement of training for staff and stakeholders of Fadama 111 – Second Additional Financing (AF11) project for North-East in Yola.?

Ahmadu said that the state government would benefit from the financial support by improving on food security and livelihood of Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.

He said that 7.5 million dollars was a huge sum of money to support communities in the state with, especially at this time that the country was experiencing recession.

“The World Bank’s aim of improving food security and agriculture restoration was in line with the state and Federal Government’s agenda to improve the livelihood of the IDPs through agriculture.

“I am assuring the World Bank team of the state government’s collaboration to make sure that the project succeeds and is completed in good time.”

The commissioner said that the government would pay its counterpart fund and that arrangements were ongoing to pay for other outstanding projects of about N100 million.

He thanked the World Bank team led by Dr Adetunji Oredipe for its support, assuring that the project would be implemented successfully.

Earlier, the Project Engineer and AF11 Desk Officer, Mr Ibrahim Alkali, said that AF11 would utilise existing institutional structure of the ministry of agriculture at federal and state levels to coordinate the project implementation.

“The Fadama national office will also be responsible for day-to-day coordination of the project and support with training of staff, solid procurement, management, monitoring, and systems evaluation.

“We will show diligence and follow established World Bank procedure and also report to the national coordinator of our achievement on regular basis,” he said.

Alkali said that the criteria used in selecting the beneficiaries under AF11 as households and displaced persons, included size of household ranging from 10 members to 15 members.

“Others include farmland ownership, relevant enterprises, types of skill, level of distress, level of commitment, partial asset acquisition, IDPs in formal and informal camps,” he added.

Mr Iyiola Akande of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that all hands must be on desk to address challenges facing the North-East.

“After fighting the insurgency, we have to resettle and rehabilitate these displaced people. NEMA has been in the forefront since the beginning of this challenge.

“The good thing is that both the national and international stakeholders are coming to address the problem under AF 11 for the development of our country.?

“We hope that everything about financial assistance has put in place to ensure the restoration of livelihoods of the IDPs will be well addressed to have a good result.”

Tight Monetary Policy Will Help Stabilise Naira, Attract Foreign Investors- World Bank

The World Bank has sanctioned Nigeria’s tight monetary policy environment, saying it would help stabilise the naira, strengthen real interest rates, and encourage a return of international investment in the economy.

The Bank also stated that Nigeria’s exchange rate adjustment which was effected in June this year, coupled with the modest improvement in oil prices would help boost the country’s oil revenues in naira terms.

This, in turn, should enable the federal and state governments to meet their financial obligations, including the clearance of salary arrears, and help boost demand, the multilateral donor institution added.

The World Bank stated this in its latest ‘Africa’s Pulse”, the Bank’s twice-yearly analysis of issues shaping Africa’s economic future, for October 2016, which was released yesterday.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ditched its 16-month-old peg on the naira in June and introduced a flexible exchange rate regime to allow the currency to trade freely on the interbank market.

But perennial dollar shortage in the economy appear to have frustrated the objective of the central bank as the gap between the interbank FX market and the parallel market has continued to widen.

For instance, while the spot rate of the naira on the interbank FX market closed at N305.31 to the dollar, the naira hit an all-time low of N480 to the dollar on the parallel market yesterday, compared with the N460 to the dollar from the previous day.
The CBN at its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) a fortnight ago, maintained the benchmark Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent.

Endorsing the tightening stance adopted by the CBN, the World Bank in the report stated that although the Nigerian economy was facing some challenges, “the economy is expected to rebound moderately in 2017 as the long-delayed expansionary budget begins to be implemented, oil prices stabilise, and oil production increases”.

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World Bank Predicts 1.6% Fall For African Economies

An analysis conducted by the World Bank has advocated for better economic policies and deeper diversification for African countries.

The World Bank noted in the report that countries of Sub-Saharan Africa present a diversified landscape of economic growth.

The bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies named Africa’s Pulse pointed out that while economic growth across the continent is projected to fall to 1.6% this year, the lowest level in over two decades, the GDP growth is showing resilience in about a quarter of countries.

Some of the best performers—Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania—have continued to post annual average growth rates of over 6%, and Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal have recently climbed into the ranks of top performing countries.

The weak aggregate economic performance is mainly a reflection of deteriorating economic performance in the continent’s largest economies: Nigeria and South Africa, which together account for half the region’s output.

In Nigeria, GDP contracted during the first two quarters of the year due to low oil revenues and a fall in manufacturing, among other things.

In South Africa, the economy contracted slightly in the first quarter, before rebounding in the second quarter, thanks to an increase in mining and manufacturing output.

Generally, oil exporters in Sub-Saharan Africa continue to experience slippages in economic growth due to shocks from the collapse of commodity prices. This underlines once more the limited diversification of their economies.

“Adjustment to low commodities has been limited in several commodity exporters, even as vulnerabilities have mounted,” says Punam Chuhan-Pole, World Bank Lead Economist for Africa. “Adjustment efforts should include measures to strengthen domestic resource mobilization, so as to reduce overdependence on resource-based revenues.”

A deeper analysis of economic growth patterns in the region shows that countries’ economies have performed differently in the years before and after the global financial crisis of 2008.

Some countries, those categorized as “established”, have sustained strong performance in both periods. Several other countries are seeing strong performance in recent years, and are categorized as “improved”.

Overall, these resilient groups of countries show more diversified export structures and have made more progress on structural reforms, business regulation, rule of law, and government effectiveness. Outlook Against this backdrop, a modest rebound is forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017.

Economic activity is expected to rise to 2.9%. The uneven growth performance we currently see should continue, with the region’s largest economies and other commodity exporters experiencing modest growth, as commodity prices strengthen slowly, while other countries continue to expand at a robust pace, supported in part by infrastructure investments.

Looking ahead, increasing agricultural productivity on the continent is central to transforming Sub-Saharan Africa. Analysis shows that addressing the quality of spending and the efficiency of resource use is even more critical than addressing the level of agriculture spending.

Rebalancing the composition of public agricultural spending could reap massive payoffs. The Report’s Key MessagesAfter slowing to 3% in 2015, economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to fall to 1.6%in 2016, the lowest level in over two decades.

The sharp decline in aggregate growth reflects the challenging economic conditions in the region’s largest economies and commodity exporters as they continue to face headwinds from low commodity prices, tight financing conditions, and domestic policy uncertainties.

At the same time, in about a quarter of countries, economic growth is showing signs of resilience. Some countries—Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania—have continued to post annual average growth rates of over 6%, exceeding the top tercile of the regional distribution; and several other countries—including Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal—have moved into the top tercile of performers.

Risks to the outlook remain tilted to the downside. On the external front, old risks remain salient and include slower improvements in commodity prices, tighter global financial conditions, and security concerns.

Post-global financial crisis performance in the region as a whole has not been as stellar as it was pre-crisis.

However, there are some diverging growth experiences across countries.

Increasing agricultural productivity is central to transforming Sub-Saharan African economies. Addressing the quality of public spending and the efficiency of resource use is even more critical than addressing the level of spending.

World Bank Launches Massive Solar Energy Programme In Nigeria

The International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank group in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is facilitating a massive solar energy programme, targeting Small and Medium Scale businesses across the country.

Under the initiative, the Financial Institution with the DFID would deploy off-grid and embedded solar systems in commercial and industrial sectors in Nigeria.

Providing insight into the project, country manager IFC, Eme Essien Lore, at a media briefing in Lagos, yesterday, said a number of financial institutions in Nigeria would be given incentives to provide finances for the programme.

She said studies would be conducted to fully understand the challenges that had stalled similar initiative in the past.

Lore stated that IFC is leading an initiative, creating and facilitating solutions to help increase access to energy at the home and corporate levels in Nigeria.



Spain Nominates #PanamaPapers Leak Minister For World Bank Job

The Spanish government brushed aside global concerns to name its former Industry Minister, Jose Manuel Soria, as the country’s proposed representative at the World Bank.

Mr. Soria’s nomination is coming despite being linked with an offshore company listed in the Panama papers leaks earlier this year.

Although he denied any wrongdoing, Mr. Soria was compelled to resign his appointment last April, apparently to forestall any negative backlash on Spain’s caretaker government, the conservative Popular Party (PP).

But, few months after, the Spanish government has sent his name as its nominee to be voted one of the 25 executive directors by the189 governors at the Washington-based Bretton Woods institution, the Economy Ministry said on Wednesday.

Mr. Soria was named in the Panama Papers leaks scandal with details about his relationship with U.K. Lines, an offshore firm owned by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

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World Bank Earmarks $500m for Basic Education in Nigeria

The World Bank has set aside 500 million dollars as grant to fund basic education in five states for five years, Mrs Helen Okoro, the Information Officer, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), has said.

Okoro, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, credited Dr Olatunde Adekola, Head, World Bank International Reconstruction and Development team, as giving the information.

She said Adekola explained that the fund was for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), established to improve access to quality education at the basic level in Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Sokoto and Katsina states.

“Five hundred million dollars has been set aside as Global Partnership for Education (GPE)/ Nigerian Partnership for Education Project (NIPEP) to fund education in the five beneficiary states of Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina and Sokoto,’’ she said.

Okoro said Adekola commended the Federal Government for the NIPEP project and added that it was the first time government was focusing on strategies aimed at moving the basic education sub-sector forward.

She said the 2.5 billion dollars credit that the Federal Government requested from the World Bank to finance the 2016 budget could only be released after fulfilling certain conditions.

Okoro also quoted Dr Hamid Bobboyi, Executive Secretary of UBEC, as assuring the team of the agency’s commitment to reposition basic education delivery in Nigeria.

World Bank Extends Erosion Projects To 12 States

To further strengthen its operations aimed at controlling gully erosion in Nigeria, the World Bank, through its Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Project (NEWMAP), has extended its services to 12 states.

The states are Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Borno, Delta, Gombe, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Oyo and Sokoto states.

A statement signed by an official of the Aries Concept Nigeria Limited, a communication consulting firm for the bank, Bankole Ebisemiju, said the states will benefit from funds made available to NEWMAP by the Federal and State Governments, international and donor agencies for the eight -year task.

In the statement, the Task Team leader of the bank, Dr. Amos Abu, was quoted as saying that the project will be financed through a Strategic Investment Loan (SIL), of $508.59 million, $500 million received from the International Development Association (IDA).

Other sources of funding include, a concessional Loan from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Trust Fund and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) grants of $8,59 million and counterpart contribution from the Federal Government and participating states to the tune of $150 million.

The Federal Government, he said contributed 60 per cent, while the states will gives 40 per cent in total counterpart sum.

It stated: “Twelve additional states have recently become partners with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) in combating environmental and land degradation. The states include; Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Borno Delta, Gombe, Kano, Katsina, and Kogi. Others are ?Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto.

“It should be recalled that this multisector and multi-scale project, with Innovative new approach to preventing and reversing land degradation, initially commenced with gully erosion sites that threaten infrastructure and livelihoods in seven states: Abia, Anambra, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo Enugu and Imo, referred to as first mover states.

“Presently, its activities have scaled out to the aforementioned 12 states, now making a total of 19.”

While briefing key officials of the seven states where the Bank’s Erosion and ?Watershed Intervention Programme is currently being executed, ?Dr Abu noted , that the Project was in response to the challenges and the emerging Land degradation and environmental insecurity facing the first mover states.

World Bank Supports Agricultural Sector In North East Nigeria With $50m

The World Bank has pledged to support Nigeria’s agricultural sector with 50 million dollars towards the restoration of agricultural livelihood of Fadama beneficiaries in the North East.

Dr Adetunji Oredipe, Task Team Leader of the Fadama III project, disclosed on Thursday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the programme would last up till December 2019.
He said the programme had begun in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Taraba, Gombe and Yobe states.

Oredipe disclosed that Borno, Yobe and Taraba had released their N20 million counterpart fund, while the three other states had given approval for payment.

He said that the bank had launched a special programme of Fadama for the North East towards actualising the programme.

Oredipe said that actualising the programme had become imperative because the bank was determined to help to restore livelihood in the region.

“We want to reach out to 24,000 households and we have the package for them as you know most of them have lost everything.
He said that the programme would be done in stages and there is budget for every community where the bank is intervening.

“The third leg is that we are giving food assistance to farmers that we are going to work with because if you don’t provide food assistance the tendency that when you bring seedlings or fertilisers they will sell it.
Oredipe noted that it is inimical to health and food production when farmers cooked seeds instead of normal grains.

He said in this regard, Fadama would support every family with a small quantity worth 200 dollars, just to help them within the period while they were waiting for their harvest.

The coordinator revealed that damaged irrigation facilities, abandoned roads that might have lost shape would be upgraded by supporting them with water lifting devices.

Oredipe said that there was adequate budget for every household while the bank facilitators were on the field working with NGOs who are familiar with the terrain to map out farms and other facilities.

“We are not engaging in trial and error, we are working with experts who are familiar with environment so we can move quickly as the sense of urgency is there.

“Every community will prepare a community action plan for the team to work with, since we have a budget,’’ he said.
Oredipe disclosed further that 25,000 dollars had been set aside for each community as intervention fund.

“In that community they will have to sit together and put facilities that are relevant but are not functioning we have roads to fix, we have irrigation facilities.
“So, based on the consensus, they have all agreed on and identify 40 households with farmlands.

“It is a straightforward package that we have learnt from the earlier phase of the project to be able to make quick intervention that can yield very good result,’’ he said.

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Abacha Loot: World Bank Seeks More Time To Give Details

The World Bank has again asked for more time to release details on the spending of recovered loot by late General Sani Abacha. This followed the bank’s decision to refer “portion of appeal by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to the Bank Archives Unit for processing for public access.”

In a letter dated 8 August 2016 and sent to SERAP, the World Bank said, “In response to your request under AI4288, we would like to inform you that we are working on your request as referred to the Archives by the Access to Information Committee in its decision on the appeal and need additional time to provide a more comprehensive response. We regret any inconvenience for this delay.”

This development was disclosed today in a statement by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni. The World Bank’s request for more time followed the appeal SERAP lodged with the Bank on 5 February 2016 on the ground that the Bank’s decision on its initial request did not reveal “important portions of the information requested on how Abacha loot was spent.”

This is the second time the World Bank is asking for additional time to provide SERAP with details of spending of Abacha loot. It would be recalled that the bank in a letter dated 15 October 2015 and signed by Ann May of the Access to Information Team said that “In response to your request under AI3982, we would like to inform you that we are still considering your request and need additional time to provide you with a more comprehensive response.”

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FG, World Bank Collaborating To Review Nigeria’s Privatised Mining Enterprises – Fayemi

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, says the World Bank is working closely with the Federal Government to review the country’s privatised mining enterprises.

Fayemi, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said the collaboration was with a view to making the privatised enterprises functional.

He said the bank would also help Nigeria exploit its minerals to achieve its planned diversification of the economy.


“We are also working with them (World Bank) to take a clue from them from what obtains in other jurisdiction in terms of legal and regulatory framework and to help us review all of the privatised assets.

“We have assets in mining that have been privatised. What is really happening to them now?

“Katsina Steel Rolling Mill is there, Jos Steel Rolling Mill is there, Oshogbo steel Rolling Mill is there, Itakpe is there, Delta is there.

“What is the asset? All of the assets that we have privatised may not have been under our government, but Nigeria has privatised them.

“What has happened to them? What is their status now? How do we take it forward?

“So, we are working with BPE. BPE has just given me an analysis of the status of the privatised assets. It is now up to us to decide.

“We sold this to you 10 years ago and you have not done anything with it.

“What is in the law that will allow us to hold you accountable for what you have bought that you have not utilised in the interest of the Nigerian people.

“It not just enough for you to purchase an asset and then you go to sleep.’’


Fayemi said the World Bank would also assist the ministry to establish a Chamber of Mines in the country to involve big players in the sector.

He said the ministry had a regulatory responsibility to help organise the sector better, adding that it was negotiating with the World Bank to strengthen the industry.

According to him, the Federal Government has identified exploration of the mineral resources as key to achieving sustainable development.


“They are also (World Bank) working with us on exploration which we have identified as a major priority.

“Nigeria is largely a greenfield in mining; we have not done any serious exploration.

“Many of the things you hear that Nigeria possesses, people usually pick them, it is alluvial – it is only surface mining that we do.

“We have not dogged 300 metres in most parts of Nigeria not to talk of 1,000 metres and what you see on the surface is an indication of what you have under the ground.

“And if you don’t do the necessary exploration, you don’t get a sense of what you have.

“And as I have indicated recently, we don’t have country around us Ghana, Burkina Faso spending 100, millions of dollars on exploration and we are spending peanut- 200,000 dollars, it doesn’t work so World Bank is also assisting us with exploration activities.’’


Fayemi said the ministry had developed a road map, according to the diversification task given to it by the Federal Government.

He said the road map for the sector stated the vision, focus and the strategies that could be used to grow the solid minerals sector.

The minister said the committee set up to produce the road map came up with a robust document, which outlined priority areas and how to mine in commercial quantity.

Fayemi said mining was about exploration, adding: “you can say you have 200 minerals; it doesn’t mean much, if you cannot dig it and produce it commercially.’’



World Bank Commits N158bn To Rebuilding North East

The World Bank has earmarked $800 million to support the rebuilding of the infrastructure destroyed in the North East by the Boko Haram insurgency.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Fatma Samoura, made the disclosure on Thursday in Maiduguri during a courtesy visit to Gov Kashim Shettima. Samoura, who is also a UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, said the UN was scaling up its presence in Borno and other North Eastern states ravaged by the insurgency.

Yesterday, we had a long discussion with the World Bank team that came from Washington to attend the workshop.

“The workshop is for validating the year findings of the recovery and peace-building assessment.

“They have promised to leverage 800 million dollars for the North East to response to recovery, rehabilitation, de-mining, waste management and debris processing for the North East of Nigeria,’’ she said.

The UN representative regretted that the UN was having challenges in mobilising resources for Nigeria in view of the humanitarian crises in other parts of the world.

“As we all know, the Syrian crisis that is affecting Europe is also taking a heavy toll in terms of funding from our traditional donors.

“We are trying our best to ensure that our advocacy and our communication strategy are up to the level where we will be receiving more attention from the donor community.

“The humanitarian response plan, as we speak, is just 10 per cent funded, meaning we have only received 24 million dollars.

“This is out of 248 million dollars budgeted for the North East of Nigeria for 2016,” she said.

Samoura, however, pledged that the UN would continue to complement the World Bank and the EU supports to address the root causes of poverty and exclusion in the North East.

“The UN will be on your side in order to address the humanitarian situation.

“The UN will also support the Borno Government in its work on recovery and rehabilitation for the safe return of the IDPs back to their areas of origin,” she said.

Samoura said her visit to Maiduguri was to demonstrate the sympathy of the UN to the appalling situation of the 1.8 million people who have been displaced by insurgency.

She commended the strong leadership and commitment of the governor to finding sustainable solutions to safe and voluntary return of the IDPs to their places of origin.

Responding, Gov Shettima commended the UN for standing by the government and people of Borno in identifying the root causes and also finding lasting solutions to the insurgency.

Shettima, however, described that the $800 million pledge by the World Bank as grossly inadequate in view of the enormous challenges left behind by the insurgency.

“It is in the interest of humanity to rally round Nigeria over Boko Haram. The developed world gave Turkey two billion dollars to resettle refugees from Syria.

“There are about two million IDPs from Borno and 20 Local Government Areas were overran by Boko Haram and there is food crisis now in the state,” he said.

Credit: Leadrship

FG Inaugurates $160m World Bank SME Fund

Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah on Tuesday unveiled a $160 million (about N49.2 million) World Bank powered scheme to improve access to finance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in order to boost employment in the country.
Also launched, an online vehicle to properly execute the programme was the Business Innovation and Growth (BIG) platform. BIG is landmark initiative of the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, which is funded by the World Bank and represents the main channel through which the Growth and Employment (GEM) assistance is expected to be made available to micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in order to stimulate economic activities in critical non-oil sector areas.
The minister noted that the initiative, which has a three-year-implementation time frame, would among other things, help to open up the nation’s economic space to more players, particularly small business operators.
He said: “One of the challenges we have, which is well documented, is our ranking in the ease of doing business; it is depressing to know that Nigeria is ranked 169th of 189. And we have told the World Bank what exactly are the issues. So I am very confident that as unsatisfactory as it is, it is not going to be business as usual. So we are going to see a new Nigeria, you are going to see us working together in the mirror to see our country rise.”

Credit: Dailytimes

SERAP Appeals World Bank’s Decision To Hide Information On Abacha Loot Spending

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an appeal over the decision of the World Bank to provide insufficient information on how the government of Nigeria spent the recovered stolen funds by the late General Sani  Abacha.


In the appeal by SERAP to the Access to Information (AI) Appeals Board on the bank’s decision dated November 25, 2015, it requested the board to exercise its prerogative and allow disclosure of specific information and any feedback from the World Bank Evaluation Team on the several issues, including the “evidence and list of the 23 projects allegedly completed with recovered Abacha loot, and whether the projects were actually completed; and what became of the two abandoned projects.”


In a statement by SERAP Deputy Executive Director, Olukayode Majekodunmi, the body complained that the World Bank failed to disclose sufficient information on the spending of recovered stolen funds by the government. To this end, it urged the AIAB to prevail on the bank to provide evidence and the location of the eight health centres built with recovered Abacha loot reviewed by the World Bank as well as the  evidence and location of the 18 power projects confirmed by the World Bank. SERAP also urged the Appeal Board to direct the bank to state “how the $50 million Abacha loot received before 2005 kept in the special account was spent,” and “evidence and location of schools which benefited from the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme in the amount of N24.25 billion.”


It also prayed the Appeal Board to request for “evidence and location of the 13 road projects completed with the recovered Abacha loot, including the names of three of the largest road and bridge projects in each geo-political zone” as claimed by the bank. SERAP noted it “considered the decision of the World Bank a serious violation of the AI Policy, as it amounts to improper or unreasonable restriction of access to information.”


In the appeal, dated February 5, 2016, and signed by SERAP deputy executive director, it said: “Following receipt of several documents from the World Bank totalling over 700 pages on the Abacha loot, SERAP commenced independent investigations and verification of some of the information supplied with appropriate agencies and institutions of government. “SERAP is concerned that the World Bank failed and/or neglected to provide several portions of the information  requested on the spending of recovered Abacha loot managed by the bank.” It noted that one of the guiding principles of the Policy on Access to Information (AI Policy) was recognizing the right to an appeals process when a request for information in the World Bank’s possession was improperly or unreasonably denied.


Credit: Vanguard

World Bank Backs Nigeria’s Transparency Project

The World Bank has pledged additional support towards the President’s fight to entrench accountability and transparency across the country.

The Country Director for Nigeria and Coordinating Director for West Africa Regional Integration Programme, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, spoke to journalists during a visit to the Minister of Science and Technology in Abuja.

“At the World Bank, we think the good government of Nigeria is taking the right step in dealing with governance issues.

“Our role is to support the government of Nigeria in its efforts at improving transparency and accountability or in the development programmes that we do. It starts with accountability and transparency,” he said, adding that conversation on areas to revamp in the country is ongoing with various ministries.

Mr Rachid noted that it would be aspiring to lend huge support in other sectors like agriculture, security, solid minerals as well as science and technology to assist in repositioning Nigeria as a global economic hub of Africa.

“We have heard from a number of cabinet ministers about the importance of diversifying the revenues away from the oil sector and we have been working with both the Ministry of Agriculture and (that of) Solid Minerals in this particular area.

“We have also looked into further support in the power sector. As you know, the power sector is a binding constraint to growth. Science and Technology plays an important role in all of our support because it looks at the aspect of efficiency and innovations.”

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, commended the move, urging civil servants to work judiciously with the nation’s available resources.

Credit: ChannelsTv

FG, World Bank Behind Accident Reduction In 2015 – FRSC

The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, has attributed the reduction of Road Traffic Crashes, RTC, in 2015 by 12.99 percent to Federal Government’s and the World Bank’s robust support to the commission.

Oyeyemi, in a statement issued by the FRSC Head of Media Relations and Strategy, Mr. Bisi Kazeem,said: “Because of increased support in 2015, total fatalities reduced to 5,044 from 5,991 in 2014, while total RTC reduced to 9,031 compared to 10,380 in 2014, which amounts to 12.99 percent RTC reduction.“

He disclosed  that 5,044 lives were lost to road crashes in 2015, which was 15.88 percent reduction on the 5,996 lives lost in 2014. The statement said human injuries as a result of road crashes reduced from 32,063 in 2014 to 27,782 in 2015, which amounts to 13.35 percent reduction.

The statement noted that Federal Government’s firm support towards the realisation of the commission’s mandate went a long way in ensuring the success recorded in 2015. It said that the timely intervention of the World Bank, especially at six critical corridors in the country, since 2013, had been of immense help to the commission.

FEC Approves $200 Million World Bank Loan For Lagos Infrastructure

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved $200 million World Bank loan for Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos State, for infrastructural development.

The approval was made known to reporters after the FEC meeting by the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed and his Power, Works and Housing counterpart, Mr Babatunde Fashola.

According to them, the loan is part of a $600 million loan granted by World Bank for roads and other infrastructural development projects in Lagos State.

Mr Fashola said the first batch of $200 million was approved in 2010, but that subsequent batches were reportedly delayed by the last administration for political reasons.

“It suffered delays as a result of partisan political differences in the last dispensation.

“After the first tranche was disbursed there was freeze on the second tranche,” he explained.

Credit: ChannelsTv

World Bank Urges Buhari To Remove Fuel Subsidy Now

The World Bank has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to act now if he is seriously considering the removal of fuel subsidy.

The World Bank’s Lead Economist, John Litwack, said Tuesday the best time to take such decision is now.

While the Buhari administration has hinted at its intention to remove fuel subsidy, the debate is still on in the country with many Nigerians, including the organised labour, rejecting the plan.

The issue was discussed Monday at the Executive Council of the Federation meeting.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, while unveiling the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the government’s N6 trillion budget proposal for 2016, said the government was seriously weighing the options between removing or retaining fuel subsidy next year.

The government’s body language appears to favour the former, rather than the latter.

Mr. Litwack said at the launch of the new edition of Nigeria Economic Report that if the government really meant to take a decision on the issue of fuel subsidy removal, the best time to act would be now that global crude oil price was at its lowest level.

Despite last Friday’s attempt by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, during its 168th conference to maintain its production quota so as to stabilize the crude oil market, the price of the commodity slumped further to $37.89 per barrel on Monday from $38.09 on Friday.

While presenting the economic outlook of the global economy and the crude oil market, Mr. Litwack said the Bank foresaw continuous decline in global crude oil price.

He said now is the best time for the government to scrap the subsidy, as doing so would not push retail pump price beyond an average of N100 per litre, or generate the kind pressure that would negatively impact on the people beyond what they are currently facing.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Sokoto Govt, FG, World bank To Commit N4.9bn To Irrigation Scheme – Tambuwal

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State said the Federal Government, World bank and the state government would commit over N4.9 billion for the reclamation of farms in the Kware Irrigation Scheme.


A statement by Tambuwal’s Spokesman, Imam Imam in Sokoto on Sunday, said that Tambuwal was speaking when a team of the partner agencies visited Sokoto.


He said the scheme, tagged, ”Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMIN) will support and improve agricultural productivity through strengthened institutional arrangement and improved access to irrigation drainage services.


”Our government will commit about N460 million while our partners will provide the rest.


” It involves construction of 175 irrigation water conveyance canals, 120 units of hydraulic structure, 55 kilometres of feeder roads, five units of primary schools, two primary healthcare centres and two community markets.


“The target is to enhance agricultural growth and production, provide job opportunities, tackle poverty among the populace and also help in developing rice value chain by boosting local rice milling in our state.”


Tambuwal said that his administration was partnering the Federal Government and the World Bank to develop large scale irrigation scheme in the state.


The statement quoted the governor saying ” the scheme will also complement existing major agricultural initiatives and focus on improving large-scale public irrigation in Sokoto and some selected states in the North.


In his remarks, TRIMIN’s Project Coordinator, Mr Peter Manjok, said ”given the global growing competitiveness in irrigated agricultural production, a window of opportunity was opened to help raise income and reduce poverty in the country.”


According to him, the scheme, which will run for seven years, will involve the transfer of tertiary irrigation and drainage facilities to registered operators and Water User Associations (WUAs) in affected areas.





What We Did With Recovered Abacha Loot- Okonjo-Iweala

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has “received several documents from the World Bank totalling over 700 pages on information on the spending of recovered assets stolen by the late General Abacha, with some of the documents suggesting that Abacha loot was spent on roads, electricity, education, health and water.”

This information was disclosed by SERAP executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, in a statement dated November 29, 2015.

The organisation said that “In the meantime our preliminary review of some of the documents and the letter from Mr Rachid Benmessaoud have revealed certain facts which raise more questions about what exactly happened to Abacha loot: First, that Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Minister of Finance in a letter dated 9 January 2005 explained to the Bank that around $500m (N65bn) of Abacha loot received from Switzerland was programmed into and spent in the 2004 and 2005 budgets on roads, electricity, education, water and health across all 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria.”

“Second, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala explained to the Bank that N18.60bn was spent on roads; N10.83bn spent on health; N7bn spent on education; N6.20bn spent on water; and N21.70bn spent on electricity. She also said that part of the funds were spent on new and ongoing investment projects. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said that relevant federal ministries have the full details on the spending of repatriated Abacha loot. The Bank noted that there was no funds monitoring and tracking mechanism in place to trace the spending of Abacha loot,” the organisation also disclosed.

“Third, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud confirmed that the World Bank played a monitoring role in a return of assets by Switzerland but that the Bank is not currently involved in the monitoring of spending of Abacha loot that have been returned to Nigeria in recent years. He said that the Bank would be prepared to set up a mechanism to monitor the use of Abacha loot if the Nigerian government requests the Bank’s assistance in this respect.”

“Given Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala’s involvement in the spending of Abacha loot, SERAP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently probe the role of the Ministry of Finance and relevant federal ministries at the time in the spending of Abacha loot particularly given the strong allegations of mismanagement that characterised the use of the funds,” the organisation said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Edo Yet To Receive $75m World Bank Loan, Says Oshiomhole

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo on Friday said the State was yet to receive the $75million World Bank loan recently approved for the state.


Oshiomhole disclosed this in Benin during a Colloquium organised by the State Government to round off activities marking its 7th year in office.


The governor said the clarification became necessary to instil confidence in the people that the state government’s ability to pay salaries up to date was not based on the loan, but on prudent management of resources.


He contended that it was not the business of government to do business.


“It is rather to create the enabling environment for citizens to make wealth so that government could collect taxes and develop the society.”


He noted that government and governance were not value-free, adding that the way forward was to focus on continued development of every sector of the economy.


He also said government would strategise to ensure that workers earned their pay and give government value for pay.


He disclosed that the government was thinking of reintroducing the dissolved Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) to help manage and control traffic in the state capital.


On aesthetics, the governor said the administration was looking at new approaches to ensure that sweeping of roads in the state capital becomes a permanent norm.


He said he recently approved money for the rebuilding and restoration of the water fountain at the Oba Ovoranmwen Square.


Earlier, Mr Austin Osakue, member of civil society group and discussant, called on the governor to carry out a staff audit of the workforce in the state.

He also said the government should embark on robust engagement of participatory system of governance.

He noted that the governor, since the inception of his administration, was yet to use up 30 per cent of his capacity to encourage participatory system of administration.


Osakue stressed that every sector of government should be included in a discussion that would ensure issues and challenges in the state were discussed with a view to finding a middle ground.


Mr Femi Falana (SAN) who moderated the discussion, said the forum was to x-ray the present administration as well as use the opportunity to cross fertilise ideas.


Credit : PM News

World Bank To Spend $50 Million On Water Projects In Ekiti

World Bank says it will expend $50 million (about 10bn naira) on water projects in Ekiti State.

The leader of the World Bank team on the water project, Mr Pier Mantovani stated this when he led a delegation to the Governor’s Office in Ado Ekiti on Thursday.

Mr Mantovani said that state government would contribute $5 million as counterpart fund towards the project and such project, if fully completed, would give people access to portable water.

Responding, Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose described the project as a welcome development, calling on the World Bank team to carry the state government along while executing the project.

Credit: ChannelsTV

World Bank Wants More Time To Compile Information On Abacha Loot

The World Bank says it needs additional time to provide comprehensive information on the spending of recovered funds looted by the late Nigerian Head of State, Sani Abacha.

The World Bank told the human rights group seeking information on the loot, which is about seven billion dollars, that for now it is compiling information on the spending.

According to the World Bank “In response to your request, we would like to inform you that we are still considering your request and we will need additional time because the money involved is too huge for us to handle.”

The World Bank said that although it takes just 20 working days to respond to such requests, under special cases it could take much longer time.

The loot stolen by the former military ruler from 1993 to 1998 is estimated to be worth 11.3 billion dollars.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, had written to the World Bank demanding information on the spending of the loot recovered from the late military dictator, General Sani Abacha.

The World Bank acknowledged the request and asked for more time to be able to supply comprehensive information on how the recovered Abacha loot was spent.

Credit: ChannelsTV

World Bank Revises Oil Price Forecast To $52

The World Bank has said it is lowering its 2015 forecast for crude oil prices from 57 dollars per barrel in its July report to 52 dollars per barrel.

This is according to the bank’s new Commodity Markets Outlook, a quarterly update on the state of the international commodity markets.

The update was derived from the World Bank’s website.

It stated that the revised forecast reflected a further slowing in global economic performance, high current oil inventories and expectations that Iranian oil exports would rise after the lifting of international sanctions.

It said the Bank’s Energy Price Index tumbled 17 per cent in the third quarter of 2015 from the previous three-month period.

“This was led by a renewed plunge in oil prices prompted by expectations of slower global growth, particularly in China and other emerging markets, abundant supplies and prospects of higher Iranian exports next year.’’

Credit: ThisDay

Govs Move To Access $500m World Bank Funds

Nigeria Governors Forum has begun steps to access $500 million dollars from the World Bank to improve infrastructure and other development activities in the 36 states of the federation.

Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar disclosed this yesterday after receiving briefing alongside other governors from some international and local agencies on the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, at the State House, Abuja.

According to him, the governors received assurances from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, that it was fully ready to fund the country’s economy through efficient delivery of its mandate.

“There are funds from the World Bank which states cannot access because we don’t know how to move forward as a result of lack of expertise. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health briefed us on how we can access the $500 million in that area.

“Second, we used to complain of the NNPC, but with the facts we have got today, it is different in the sense that the NNPC is going to be a different organisation. It is going to fund the economy fully in the sense that there won’t be any question of pipeline breaking or stealing of oil. We have taken care of that Instead of using the military only, why don’t we use technology to safeguard our pipelines?” he said.

Read More: nigerianpilot

World Bank Has New Country Director For Nigeria

The World Bank on Monday announced the appointment of a new Country Director for Nigeria.

He is Rachid Benmessaoud, who would also serve as the Coordinating Director for West Africa Regional Integration Programme.

Mr. Benmessaoud, who joined the World Bank in 1990 as an Energy Planner in the then Europe, Middle East and North Africa Vice-Presidency, would succeed Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, whose tenure ended in July 2015.

A Moroccan National, the new World Bank Country director has held various positions in the Bank, including Lead Energy Specialist, Operations Advisor for India with his most recent assignment as Country Director for Pakistan.

A statement by the World Bank office in Abuja said Mr. Benmessaoud would lead the Country Programme and Team to continue to improve the impact of the World Bank’s portfolio in Nigeria.

He would also support the government’s development priorities, including power, education, quality of public spending, trade and regional integration.

Read More: premiumtimesng

World Bank Disburses $140m For Community Development In Nigeria

The World Bank yesterday said it was ready to commence disbursement of an additional sum of $140 million (about N30 billion) to 26 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to boost community projects in Nigeria. Already, the sum of $200 million had been disbursed in the first phase of the project.

The project had disbursed US$ 200 million from 2009 to 2014 in the first phase of the Bank’s Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) between 2009 and 2014.

States benefiting the additional financing would need to focus on the most vulnerable households in poor communities in their region.

Other states including Anambra, Kaduna and Sokoto were said to have finalised their resolve to participate in the new financing.

Read More: thisdaylive

Senate Approves $75m World Bank Loan For Edo State

The Senate on Thursday approved a 75 million World Bank loan for Edo state’s Development Policy Operation (DPO) as requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The approval followed the consideration of a single-prayer report of the ad hoc Committee on Local and Foreign Debt presented by Sen. Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South).

The committee in its report urged the Senate to approve the loan, stating that the World Bank had already considered the state ready for it.

Sen. Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi Central), in his contributions, said that Edo State had qualified for this loan, because the state had met the conditions set by the World Bank.

Aliero said that the loan would help increase the internally generated revenue of the state and, therefore, urged the Senate to approve it.

He also called on other states that have the capacity to borrow, to go ahead and take such loans, as long as they could utilize such judiciously.

The Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, while supporting the motion for the approval of the loan, encouraged other states with genuine needs to take advantage of such low interest loans, rather than the patronising commercial banks.

“The first tranche of this borrowing plan had already been approved by the senate and the World Bank has strict borrowing conditions– which the state has met.

“I therefore move that we approve this loan,” he said.

Read Morenigerianpilot

FG Gets $2.1bn World Bank Loan To Rebuild Boko Haram Ravaged States

The World Bank has collaborated with the federal government of Nigeria in a package that will see it spend up to $2.1bn to rebuild badly devastated areas in the North-East ravaged in the past six years by the Boko Haram insurgency.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the announcement was made during a meeting that President Muhammadu Buhari had with representatives of the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organisation in Washington DC, United States, as part of activities marking his four-day state visit to the US.

 “The President urged the World Bank to send a team, which would work in concert with a team from the Federal Government, so that a proper assessment of needs could be done.

“The World Bank will spend $2.1bn through its International Development Agency, which gives low interest rate loans to governments. The first 10 years will be interest-free, while (the interest for the) additional 30 years will be at lower than the capital market rate.

“The World Bank is eager to move in quickly, give out the loans and give succour to the people of the North-East, long at the mercy of an insurgency that has claimed over 20,000 souls,” the statement read.

Adesina added that the WHO would also invest $300m in immunisation against malaria in Nigeria, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would collaborate with the Dangote Foundation to ensure that the country maintained its zero polio case record of the past one year.

Adesina also quoted the President as saying that apart from rebuilding the affected region in terms of infrastructure, priority must also be given to the Internally Displaced Persons who are over one million in number.

Nigeria Gets $500m From World Bank To Improve Maternal, Child Health

The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a $500 million International Development Association (IDA) credit to significantly improve maternal, child, and nutrition health services for women and children in Nigeria.

By improving access to higher quality health services, the new development financing will help Nigeria to achieve its “Saving One Million Lives (SOML) Initiative,” which was launched by the Federal Ministry of Health in October 2012 to save the lives of the more than 900,000 women and children who die every year in Nigeria from largely preventable causes.

“Saving One Million Lives is a bold response from the Nigerian Government to improve the health of the country’s mothers and children so they can survive illness and thrive. This, in turn, will also contribute to the social and economic development of Africa’s largest economy,” said Benjamin Loevinsohn, a Lead Health Specialist and Task Team Leader for the new project…”

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Buhari Must Tackle Impunity, Says World Bank

The World Bank spoke yesterday on Nigeria’s economic future, saying President-elect Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to tackle corruption will have consequences.

The bank projected a drop in the economic growth rate of Sub-Saharan Africa from 4.5 per cent in 2014 to 4.0 per cent in 2015.

The bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Mr Francisco Ferreira, spoke during a video conference to inaugurate ‘Africa Pulse’, a World Bank Group analysis on issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects. The conference was monitored in Abuja

“I think it is very well spelt because institutions are built in parts on norms; one norm that has to be changed is the norm of impunity.

“I think the decision, hopefully, will have consequences for the future as institutions will be stronger and norms will be cleaner,” Ferreira said.

According to him, the downturn largely reflects the fall in the prices of oil and other commodities.

“The 2015 forecast is below the 4.4 per cent average annual growth rate of the past two decades and well short of Africa’s peak growth rates of 6.4 per cent in 2002 to 2008.

“Excluding South Africa, the average growth forecast for the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa is around 4.7 per cent”, Ferreira said.

Ferreira said an average decline, in terms of trade for Africa is about 18 per cent, a development he said, would lead to losses in purchasing power for the region.

He said that the decline in oil and commodity prices were among the challenges undermining the developmental gains made in the Sub-Saharan African.

“There is the issue of insurgency, fatalities as a result of conflicts, violence from political groups like the Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Kenya.

“The Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone has highlighted pre-existing weaknesses in the health systems of the three most affected countries, as well as others.

“A World Bank study estimated that the three countries will face at least $1.6 billion in forgone economic growth in 2015,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Ms Punam Chuhan-Pole, the bank’s Lead Economist said: “Large fiscal deficits and inefficient government spending remain sources of vulnerability for many countries of the region.

“It is urgent that these countries strengthen their fiscal positions and fortify their resilience against external shocks.”

She said beyond macroeconomic policies, there was the need for structural reforms to ignite and sustain productivity growth in all sectors in the region.

Chuhan-Pole, also said the region should focus on policies that would promote growth, adding that the poor should be considered when implementing structural reforms.

Leadership: What Goodluck Jonathan can learn from Stephen Keshi – Ogunyemi Bukola

Keshi-JonathanSuccessful leadership, be it in business, politics or sports, operates on identical underlying principles. As such, successful leaders learn from one another across the different sectors of life and terrain of leadership in which they operate. Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, has a lot to learn about leadership, and he has plenty of options to choose from. But he needs not look far. In his mostly unremarkable government, the sports sector, especially football, especially the national male football team, Super Eagles, have enjoyed unprecedented success. This due in no small parts to the efforts of the Glo/CAF African Football Awards 2014 Coach of the Year, Stephen Keshi.

Since his appointment in 2011, Keshi has led Nigeria to qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, which they went on to win, becoming one of only two people (along with Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary) to have won it as both a player and a coach, secured qualification to the 2014 World Cup and is through to the semi-final of CHAN2014. Keshi’s success has not been accidental, and in his handling of the team, some particularly stellar leadership attributes shine through that the man from Otuoke can learn from.

Leaders deliver results, not excuses: Jonathan has a readymade excuse for why nothing is working in Nigeria. From corruption to terrorism to poor state of infrastructure nationwide, none is due to Jonathan’s inability/failure to effect change. Past Nigerian leaders, the opposition, the children of anger, some aggrieved ethnicities, these are the groups responsible for everything that is wrong with Nigeria. And this has gone a long way in entrenching the culture of complacency in his largely incompetent team who know they are not to blame for failure. Keshi as Super Eagles manager has an opposite philosophy, get results and you won’t have to give excuses. And this has worked for him, as the team knows a bad pitch or weather and even biased officiating is not a reason to lose.

Leaders make sacrifices, especially big sacrifices: To save Nigeria, we must all be prepared to make sacrifices. On the part of Government, we are taking several measures aimed at cutting the size and cost of governance, including on-going and continuous effort to reduce the size of our recurrent expenditure and increase capital spending. In this regard, I have directed that overseas travels by all political office holders, including the President, should be reduced to the barest minimum” – Goodluck Jonathan (January 2012)

“Our administration believes that the cost of governance in the country is still too high and must be further reduced. We will also take additional steps to stem the tide of corruption and leakages. Foreign travel by government personnel will be further curtailed” – Goodluck Jonathan (January 2014)

In the two years between the two statements from Goodluck Jonathan above, he has spent over N3 billion on foreign trips, recurrent expenditure has increased to 72% of overall government spending, Aso Rock feeding and entertainment budget has stayed at N1 billion and Mr President is planning to acquire an 11th aircraft for the presidential fleet.

Keshi and his assistants on the other hand are being owed a total of 7 months’ salary and allowances running into about N78 million. In the face of this, he has ensured that no player is owed match bonuses and has not failed to deliver results on the pitch. Jonathan and his aides are living in obscene opulence while asking Nigerians to make sacrifices for the nation’s development. Errrrr, it all starts with you sir.

You are only as good as your team: Since his accidental ascendancy to the highest political office in Nigeria, Mr Jonathan has managed to assemble arguably the worst Federal Executive Council since return to democratic rule in 1999. Men and women of low competencies, questionable character and proven records of corruption/mismanagement have been given control of sensitive positions in return for political devotion. Mr Jonathan has shown that he values political loyalty above competency, and that is politics, not leadership. In this regard, he should learn how Keshi picks his team, making sure the best available players are selected, not those who spent more time with the press praising his managerial skills.

Leaders know what and when to celebrate: One of the most disappointing moments of Jonathan’s presidency for me was when he told CNN’s Christine Amanpour during an interview that power situation in Nigeria has vastly improved and Nigerians are happy with his administration in that regard. Amanpour went ahead to disprove this claim so effortlessly. In truth power generation had increased to more than 4000MW then, but that hardly calls for celebration and smugness considering that Nigeria needs about 20,000MW to stand any chance of being one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020. Jonathan stops short of calling a party for every hundred MW added to the national grid or every kilometre of road patched. Mister, it’s like celebrating victory after winning the first free-kick in a football match. Keep calm and get to work, like Keshi does. Don’t pop the champagne until the trophy is in the cabinet.

Leaders know the people are priority: I do not understand the polimathics of FIFA rankings, and I got even more confused when in December 2013 Nigeria slipped three places from 33 to 36 despite having arguably the best year of all African teams. So was Keshi, but something struck me about his response:

“I am shocked (by the latest rankings). We won the Africa Cup of Nations this year, qualified for the World Cup and four-time world champions Italy held us to a draw, so I am surprised. We should continue to win and make Nigerians proud because that is what is most important to me and Nigerians. If we remain in wherever we are in the ranking and keep winning and Nigerians are happy, then I am happy.”

This contrasts sharply with the selective acceptance game Jonathan’s government plays with global governance and human development rankings. It is not unusual to see Mr Jonathan’s media aides base their principal’s successes on positive comments from international organizations like the World Bank and IMF. When however, the spotlight is on corruption and poverty, in which the report is almost always unfavourable, they swing to action and give a thousand and one reasons why such reports are inaccurate.

Failure to realize that democracy is a government of the people, and the most acceptable index is the people’s assessment, is the foundation of Mr Jonathan’s woeful performance as Nigeria’s president. And as long as he continues to seek acceptance from local power blocs and international organizations at the detriment of the wishes of the people, the story is not likely to change.

If Jonathan is to record any success worth remembering as he enters the final year of his presidency, he should learn from how Keshi has managed to turn around the fortunes of a Super Eagles team that failed to qualify for the nations cup into African champions. While Keshi has proven to be Nigeria’s most successful football coach, Mr Jonathan might just be the worst president in Nigeria’s modern democratic history. It’s all about leadership.

Ogunyemi Bukola (@zebbook) writes from Lagos, Nigeria.


News Release

Poor Sanitation Costs Nigeria NGN455 Billion Each Year

LAGOS, April 17, 2012 – Nigeria’s economy loses 455 billion Nigerian naira (US$3 billion, 1.3 percent of GDP) each year due to poor sanitation, according to a report today released by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).

The desk study, Economic Impacts of Poor Sanitation in Africa – Nigeria, found that the majority (83.3 percent) of these costs come from the annual premature death of 121,800 Nigerians from diarrheal disease, including 87,100 children under the age of 5, nearly 90 percent of which is directly attributable to poor water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Access time and productivity losses accounted for 8.5 percent of the total economic costs, while health-related costs accounted for about 6.4 percent.

“We’ve known for some time about the impact of poor sanitation on health, but this is one of the first studies to quantify the annual costs incurred because of poor sanitation,” said Yolande Coombes, senior water and sanitation specialist with WSP. “Nigeria will not be able to grow sustainably without addressing these costs.”

The study also found that 70 million Nigerians use unsanitary or shared latrines, 32 million have no latrine at all and defecate in the open, and that the poorest quintile is 10 times more likely to practice open defection than the richest

In Washington: Christopher Walsh, (202) 473-4594, cwalsh@worldbank.org
In Nairobi: Toni Sittoni, tsittoni@worldbank.org
For Broadcast Requests: Natalia Cieslik, (202) 458-9369, ncieslik@worldbank.org

For more information, please visit: http://www.wsp.org/wsp/content/africa-economic-impacts-sanitation

DOWNLAD REPORT HERE ESI-Nigeria press release – English