World Bank's Support to Nigeria, Others Hits $14bn

The World Bank Group yesterday unveiled that its help to delicate states, including Nigeria through the International Development Association (IDA) has multiplied to more than $14 billion.

The bank's Country Director in Nigeria, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, who made the exposure at a meeting with the subject: 'IdeasforAction Africa' which it facilitated as a team with the African University of Science and Technology and the University of Lagos, expressed that the concentration of the program was to give chances to the young to add to the forming of Africa's 2030 Agenda and in addition the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The IdeasforAction Africa, he noted, is an intense stage which gives youthful ones the chance to have a say in the universal advancement wrangle about and give down to earth answers for the world's most intricate issues.

According to Benmessaoud, to advance sustainable development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the bank’s strategy was to invest more in people and pursue private sector solutions to maximise finance for development.

He added that the bank’s strategy also includes accelerating inclusive and sustainable economic growth through distribution of diversified economic opportunities across sectors and finally, fostering resilience to global shocks and threats.

Benmessaoud said: “The underlying challenge remains the need for countries to mobilise domestic revenues, for development to be sustainable. This is because ultimately the ability to implement and sustain these programmes depends on political will of the government.”

He pointed out that development has to be led by each country with emphasis on protecting its most vulnerable and benefitting its poor.

“It is a moral responsibility on the part of everyone to do more to help people lift themselves out of both fragility and extreme poverty, to help stabilise the countries they live in, and to give them hope for the future.

“Against this backdrop, allocation for fragile states under the International Development Association (IDA) has doubled to more than 14 billion dollars.

“With this, we continue to find new and innovative ways to reach the poor and boost shared prosperity,’’ he stressed, imploring young Nigerians to put forth their best ideas and be a part of the innovation which IdeasforAction encapsulates.

In his remarks, the President, African University of Science and Technology, Prof. Kingston Nyamapfene noted that African youths represent the engine of growth and positive change.

University, students through the Pan African Materials Institute (PAMI) a programme supported by the World Bank had mathematical solutions for energy, water purification, sustainable building materials and healthcare challenges, he said.

Nyamapfene stated: “The concept is to bring the best minds all over Africa to do their Msc and PhDs and in doing so, we challenge them to solve problems in these areas.

“We believe that young people can solve Africa’s problems. Over the years, PAMI has come up with several excellent proposals.

“However, we have another mile to go and that is to translate these research findings into visible products, goods and services to solve the infrastructure problems in Africa,’’ he said