The Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has restated the Federal Government’s commitment to partner with the World Bank towards managing Nigeria’s portfolio beyond the current $10.6billion.
The Honorable Minister stated this on Thursday in Abuja, at a dinner hosted by the Ministry for the outgoing World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Dr. Rachid Benmassaoud.
Recalling the impressive leadership of Rachid, the Honorable Minister stated that Nigeria’s portfolio performance have been impressive with disbursement across the portfolio rising to $1.4billion or 23% in 2019 financial year, compared to 18% and 8% in 2018 and 2017 respectively. This, the Minister stated: “was unprecedented and best in Africa and one of the best in the world”.
Ahmed noted that under the leadership of the outgoing Country Director, the Federal Government had maintained a very good working relationship and partnership with the Bank which had helped to ensure a steady growth in the Bank’s portfolio over the past decades.
Stating further, the Honourable Minister said: “Jointly, the Federal Government and the World Bank have always designed programmes to deliver on wealth creation, human capital development, economic empowerment, infrastructure, among others] benefits.”
There were goodwill messages from the Bank Country Office, International Monetary Fund Mission Office, and Managing Director (MD) of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Responding, Rachid noted that despite the challenges facing Nigeria, there are opportunities to lift Nigerians out of poverty and give them a new lease of life. He encouraged the Honourable Minister to continue with her passionate commitment towards turning the Nigeria’s economy around.
Rachid, who resumed on October 1, 2015, had been the Bank’s Country Director in Pakistan and South East Asia Regional Adviser.