Shocking: Buhari Asked Us To Focus On North, World Bank President, Kim Reveals
The President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, has revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari requested that intervention efforts of the global bank should be concentrated in the Northern Nigeria, a region where the president hails from.
This startling revelation came on the heels of growing accusation against President Buhari of running a sectional government. Shortly after assuming office Buhari embarked on oil exploration in the north amidst agitation from other regions of the country.
Kim and the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, reportedly spoke at separate press conferences in Washington DC, United States on the sideline of a conference organized by the bank’
“You know, in my very first meeting with President Buhari he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that. Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult.
“I think Nigeria, of course, has suffered from the dropping oil prices. I think things are just now getting better. But the conversation we need to have with Nigeria, I think, is in many ways related to the theme that I brought to the table just this past week, which is investment in human capital. The percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that Nigeria spends on healthcare is less than one percent”, Kim revealed.
The World Bank chief however admitted that the north had been a difficult terrain to operate urging Nigeria to concentrate investment on human capital development.
His worlds, “Despite that, there is so much turbulence in the northern part of the country, and there is the hit that was taken from the drop in the oil prices. Nigeria has to think ahead and invest in its people. Investing in the things that will allow Nigeria to be a thriving, rapidly growing economy in the future is what the country has to focus on right now.”
Kim added, “Focusing on the northern part of Nigeria, we hope that as commodity prices stabilise and oil prices come back up, the economy will grow a bit more. But very, very much important is the need to focus on what the drivers of growth in the future will be.”
According to the World Bank boss, the bank will invest in human capital in other parts of Africa in order to prepare the continent for the next phase of growth.
Meanwhile, Lagarde, in her remarks, said Sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, had posted suboptimal growth in recent times.
The growth figures, she said, were far too small considering the huge demographic potential of Nigeria and other countries in the region.
Consequently, the IMF would be engaging ministers of finance and central bank governors from the region attending the annual World Bank and IMF meetings on sustainable models for stabilising growth.
“The Sub-Saharan Africa is one region of the world where growth is suboptimal. Those countries grow at an average growth of 2.5 per cent. That is too low for the demographic expansion of the region”, she said.