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World Bank to Support Nigeria on Economic Growth

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  • World Bank to Support Nigeria on Economic Growth

The World Bank has indicated its willingness to provide technical support for Nigeria in critical areas to facilitate her economic growth and development.

The World Bank’s Vice-President for Africa, Mr Hafez Ghanem, who gave the indication in Abuja during a discussion with the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said the lender accorded Nigeria top priority in its considerations.

He said the bank would be willing to provide technical support for Nigeria in the areas of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan mid-term review, power sector reform, Public-Private Partnerships as well as population management.

The World Bank is also disposed to providing technical support on the ERGP delivery, performance tracking and reporting, capacity building for sector officials and economic modelling for policy analysis and forecasting, Ghanem stated, adding that the bank would increase its support for Nigeria’s Social Investment Programme.

Udoma stated that it would be appreciated if the World Bank vice-president could help designate a special session during the forthcoming International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings in Indonesia to enable Nigerian representatives speak to participants about the ERGP so as to be able to attract more investments into the country to further facilitate the achievements of the objectives and targets of the plan.

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, appreciated the bank’s assistance in the area of security, social investment and the cash transfer programme; and asked for further support, especially in the management of Nigeria’s growing population and inclusive growth.

According to her, if Nigeria succeeds in the Sustainable Development Goals, it will make a major contribution to the continent being able to meet the targets set for Africa.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has called for the support of the World Bank to accelerate the reforms in the power sector.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, made the call during a meeting with Ghanem in Abuja on Thursday.

The successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria were privatised on November 1, 2013 and sold to investors that year.

But since the sector was privatised, many electricity consumers have been complaining about poor supply by the Discos, a development that recently led to heated exchanges between the Minister of Power, Mr Babatunde Fashola, and the power firms.

Speaking during the meeting, Adeosun said the World Bank had enough expertise in the power sector to assist the Federal Government to accelerate the reforms in the power sector.

She said the need to accelerate the reforms in the power sector was one of the major priorities of the Federal Government, noting that this would help to boost the nation’s economy.

Adeosun stated, “We hope to accelerate the growth, and the interaction with the World Bank is how we do that. And how do we leverage the technical capacity and global reach and wealth of experience to ensure we not only preserve the growth, which is quite slow at the moment, but to accelerate the growth so that we don’t have boom and burst circles?”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

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Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

The United Nations Trade Association has Nigeria recorded a total of $2.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2020, below the $3.3 billion posted in the preceeding year.

South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised nation, reported $2.5 billion during the same year, slightly below Africa’s largest economy and 50 percent below the $4.6 billion attracted a year earlier.

The report also noted that Africa recorded a total of $38 billion FDI in the same year, representing a 18 percent decline from the $46 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2019.

However, Egypt led Nigeria and South Africa with $5.5 billion FDI, an increase of 38 percent from the preceeding year.

The report read in part, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.

UNCTAD also noted that global foreign direct investment declined by 42 percent to an estimated $859 billion, down from $1.5 trillion in 2019.

The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69 percent to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.

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Economy

FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

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rail project

FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

The Federal Government will pay a total sum of N71 billion to partly fund six rail projects connecting all regions of the country.

In the report obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the six rail projects marked for development this year are Lagos-Kano rail line (ongoing), Calabar-Lagos (ongoing), and Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri).

Others are the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, the new Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi line in Niger Republic and the Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja-Warri Port and refinery/Warri new harbour.

The Buhari administration will also spend N15.1 billion on the development of safety and security of critical projects, airport certification, runway construction, terminal building, among others in the aviation sector in 2021.

Last week, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said the Lagos-Kano line would be connected from the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and would cost $5.3 billion.

We are waiting for the Chinese government and bank to approve the $5.3bn to construct the Ibadan-Kano. What was approved a year ago was the contract,” the minister said.

He added, “The moment I announced that the Federal Government had awarded a contract of $5.3bn to CCECC (China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation) to construct Ibadan-Kano, people assumed the money had come in; no.

“We have not got the money, which is a year after we applied for the loan. We have almost finished the one of Lagos-Ibadan. If we don’t get the loan now, we can’t commence.”

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Economy

FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

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FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.

The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.

The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.

Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.

Potential Travelers can book via three ways:

1. Mobile app
2. Website
3. POS or Cash at the station

A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.

Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.

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