• Monday, July 22, 2024
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World Bank applauds Nigeria’s bold reforms offers $15 billion support

What to know about the World Bank’s report as Nigerians?

The World Bank has said it will be supporting Nigeria with technical advisory and financing worth over $15 billion to attain economic prosperity while commending the government’s courage to take bold reforms.

“As Nigeria pushes forward to attain economic prosperity, the country will need sustained efforts to deliver key public goods for its citizens. The World Bank is supporting Nigeria to achieve this with both technical advisory and financing, which stands at over US$15bn in sectors that include reliable power and clean energy, girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment, climate adaptation and resilience, water and sanitation, and governance reforms.” it said.

It said this in a feature article titled “Turning The Corner: Nigeria’s Ongoing Path of Economic Reforms” on its website on Friday.

The World bank in the article said that Nigeria has embarked on far reaching and long-overdue reforms aimed at stabilising the economy and setting the country towards the path to growth.

It said that reforms such as the unification of the multiple official exchange rates, fostered a market-determined official rate, cleared the verified foreign exchange (FX) backlog, and tightened monetary policy as narrowed the gap between the parallel and official market.

“As a result of the reforms, the supply of foreign exchange has improved, which is good for businesses, consumers, and economic growth. The previous, large gap between the official and parallel market exchange rates has also been eliminated, improving transparency and putting a stop to corrupt practices and “round tripping,” the Bank stated in the article.

“The government also sharply adjusted gasoline prices to begin to phase out the gasoline subsidy, which had cost the country over 8.6 trillion naira (US$22.2 billion) from 2019 to 2022 with empirical evidence showing it did not benefit the poor but rather benefitted relatively better off consumers and resulted in large-scale black market and out-smuggling,”

The report said that Nigeria is turning the corner with far reaching macro-fiscal reforms that will enable more fiscal resources to be invested in critical sectors to improve the lives of its citizens.

“Sustaining these reforms and expanding and scaling up social protection for the poor and vulnerable is critical to putting the economy back on track,” the report stated.

It said, “The future can be bright, and “Naija” (Nigeria) can rise and serve as an example for the region on how macro-fiscal and governance reforms along with continued investments in public goods can accelerate growth and improve the lives of citizens.”

This comes after the international lender had approved the loan of $2.25 billion to Nigeria at a one percent interest rate to finance fiscal reforms.

The first project is the Nigeria Reforms for Economic Stabilization to Enable Transformation (RESET) Development Policy Financing, which is set to receive $1.5bn.

The second project, NG Accelerating Resource Mobilization Reforms Programme-for-Results (ARMOR), has proposed funding of $750m.

“New World Bank financing of $2.25 billion will help Nigeria stabilize its economy and scale up support to the poor,” the world bank said.