The World Bank Group Monday launched the new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), aimed at helping the Nigerian Federal and State Governments to boost development for their citizens.
Over 200 participants from the Donor Agencies, federal and state government’s Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Project Implementation Units (PIUs), the media, private sector and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) attended the launch in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja
The new partnership strategy is a joint product developed in close consultation with the federal and state governments of Nigeria and stakeholders under the Country Assistance Framework to have a strategic platform developed by Nigeria’s partners to coordinate interventions and leverage resources to deliver strong results and development solutions.
It sets out Nigeria’s long-term development objectives and the medium-term strategy for operationalizing the vision.
The strategy includes support for a bold and ambitious programme of development targets and interventions for the next four years.
The launch was also aimed at making the objectives and outcomes of the strategy known to all beneficiaries, namely the federal and state government officials, federal and state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the private sector, academics, researchers, professionals and other stakeholders.
The new CPS, which covers the period of 2014-2017, introduces a change in the country’s borrowing status.
Nigeria has been declared credit worthy for IBRD financing and officially entered blend status from July 1, 2014.
This means Nigeria can access World Bank Group funds through the International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
Nigeria is now recognized as Africa’s largest economy following its recent GDP rebasing exercise that was fully supported by the World Bank.
The launch of the new strategy is coming as Nigeria is redoubling efforts to tackle critical development challenges and committing itself to lift major constraints hindering it from achieving broad-based, inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction goals.
Specifically, the World Bank Group’s support for Nigeria is structured around three strategic priorities:
Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minster of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, noted that the first priority is that the strategy is supporting the Government to create jobs, access to finance as well as “helping in starting a housing revolution in the country.”
World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Ms Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, added that the new strategy reflects Nigeria’s development aspirations and commits the World Bank Group to working hand-in-hand to unleash Nigeria’s potential for the benefit of all Nigerians.
A statement from the World Bank stated that “as Nigeria pursues its ambitious plan to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020, the World Bank Group looks forward to being a steady partner to accelerate efforts to end poverty and boost shared prosperity in Africa’s largest, most populous country. This in turn will also benefit Nigeria’s neighbours across West Africa.”
At the launch, The Governor of Kogi State, Idris Ichalla Wada, said the World Bank has been of tremendous assistance to his state with projects such as Export Processing Zone, Fadama, Community Social Development, Youth Employment and Social Safety Operations(YESSO).
On his part, Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, described the Bank as a useful partner and expressed appreciation for the work being done in his state in the areas of agriculture, health, infrastructure, flood and erosion control as well as open governance.