The World Bank has hinted of plans to commit a total of $510billion to boost Nigeria and other African countries’ economy within the next three years, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said.
The minister spoke on behalf of Nigeria and other African countries at the ongoing Development Committee Plenary of the 2020 Virtual Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (WBG/IMF).
In a statement by Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, Special Adviser, Media and Communications to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning at the weekend, the minister said it was heartening to note the bank’s willingness to commit up to $160 billion within the next 15 months and up to $350 billion by 2023.
According to her, Africa supports the call for the mobilisation of $100 billion for the continent as an emergency response to the pandemic, with $44 billion of the amount earmarked for immediate debt relief.
Addressing the meetings, she noted that African countries, while responding to the challenges of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the severe disruptions in the global economy, have been equally forced to contend with multiple external shocks such as falling commodity prices, decelerating remittance flows, capital outflows, trade disruptions and rapidly rising debt levels.
“It is in this regard that we appreciate the WBG for its timely response with $14billion meant to assist countries to mitigate the initial impact of the pandemic on human population. We also welcome and commend the bank for its strong and forward-looking commitment to support developing countries’ efforts to restart their economies,” she said.
Though some of the African countries are categorised as middle income, Ahmed also noted that they are equally exposed to very severe vulnerabilities and would certainly benefit from financial assistance to weather the storm and to grow.
The continent, therefore, encouraged the WBG to embrace inclusiveness in all its support, including debt relief initiatives, irrespective of classification.