Nigeria: World Bank President arrives in Nigeria today

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

*World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

26 April 2016, Abuja — Barely four months after the visit of the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, Ms. Christine Lagarde, the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim is billed to arrive Nigeria this morning on a three-day visit.

Kim, who is expected to arrive the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja by 9a.m. is to be received on arrival by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and some top government functionaries.

Although the details of his visit are not known, THISDAY gathered that Kim is coming to Nigeria in connection with issues pertaining to the economy and the support for the country’s efforts to rebuild the Northeast, which has been ravaged by an insurgency.

The World Bank announced recently that it was setting aside $800 million in support of the rebuilding of infrastructure devastated by years of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

The United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Fatma Samoura, who disclosed this, stated that the global body was increasing its presence in Borno State and other North-east states ravaged by the insurgency.

The federal government had also last July obtained a $2.1 billion credit from the bank to rebuild the North-east zone when President Muhammadu Buhari visited Washington DC, United States.

Speaking after meeting with representatives of the World Bank and other donor agencies, Buhari hailed the decision to invest $2.1 billion in rebuilding the troubled region.

“The World Bank will spend the $2.1 billion through its (International Development Agency), which gives low-interest rates loans to the government. The first 10 years will be interest-free while an additional 30 years will be at lower than capital market rate. The World Bank is eager to move in quickly, give out the loans, and give succor to the people of North-east, long at the mercy of an insurgency that has claimed over 20,000 souls,” Buhari had said.

Nigeria is also currently seeking a loan from the bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help fund the 2016 N2.2 billion budget deficit.
*Ndubuisi Francis – Thisday

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