Nige­ria makes World Bank’s top-three IDA debtors’ list

... CREDIT SUP­PORT OF $2.586BN CON­FIRMS POVERTY LEVEL … trails bthiopia, Bangladesh

Business Day (Nigeria) - - NEWS - • Con­tin­ues online at IHEANYI NWACHUKWU

The World Bank says it is help­ing Nige­ria to fight ex­treme poverty and im­prove the liv­ing stan­dards of her cit­i­zens with In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (IDA) cred­its of about $2.586 bil­lion (N790bn) as at end of 2018.

Nige­ria is third in the list of IDA top coun­try bor­row­ers, the World Bank said in its an­nual re­port for 2018 avail­able to Businessday. Nige­ria trails be­hind Ethiopia, which is the first with IDA credit of $3.122 bil­lion, and Bangladesh (sec­ond) with IDA credit of $2.991 bil­lion.

IDA is one of the largest sources of as­sis­tance for the world’s 75 poor­est coun­tries, 39 of which are in Africa, and is the sin­gle-largest source of donor funds for ba­sic so­cial ser­vices in these coun­tries.

Nige­ria over­took In­dia last year as the coun­try with the largest num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing in ex­treme poverty, ac­cord­ing to re­port by the World Poverty Clock, which noted that ex­treme poverty in Nige­ria was grow­ing by six peo­ple ev­ery minute, the high­est num­ber in the world.

At the end of May 2018, the sur­vey showed that Nige­ria had an es­ti­mated 87 mil­lion peo­ple in ex­treme poverty, com­pared to In­dia’s 73 mil­lion.

The In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (IDA) is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poor­est coun­tries. Over­seen by 173 share­holder na­tions, IDA aims to re­duce poverty by pro­vid­ing loans (called “cred­its”) and grants for pro­grammes that boost eco­nomic growth, re­duce in­equal­i­ties, and im­prove peo­ple’s liv­ing con­di­tions.

Tra­di­tion­ally, IDA has been funded largely by con­tri­bu­tions from high- and mid­dle-in­come part­ner coun­tries. Ad­di­tional fi­nanc­ing comes from trans­fers from In­ter­na­tional Bank for Re­con­struc­tion and Devel­op­ment (IBRD) net in­come, grants from In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (IFC), and bor­row­ers’ re­pay­ments of ear­lier IDA cred­its.

Other top coun­try bor­row­ers and their IDA cred­its as at fis­cal year 2018 are Pak­istan ($1.948bn); Kenya ($1.280bn); Côte d’ivoire ($987m); Tanzania ($955m); Uzbek­istan ($740m); Nepal ($706m), and Uganda ($640m).

“In fis­cal 2018, our com­bined com­mit­ments for the In­ter­na­tional Bank for Re­con­struc­tion and Devel­op­ment (IBRD) and the In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (IDA) to­talled more than $47 bil­lion,” said Kristalina Ge­orgieva, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of IBRD and IDA. “But these im­pres­sive num­bers stand for some­thing much big­ger. They rep­re­sent our abil­ity to con­front the world’s tough­est chal­lenges and to step in when our clients need us the most.”

The World Bank Group’s risk of­fi­cers mon­i­tor the global po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic im­pacts that could af­fect the in­sti­tu­tion’s fi­nances. In fis­cal 2018, eco­nomic growth in ad­vanced economies reac­cel­er­ated, while ac­tiv­ity in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries also re­bounded. Pol­icy un­cer­tainty in some ad­vanced and larger de­vel­op­ing economies con­tin­ues to present an over­ar­ch­ing risk, and there is a sig­nif­i­cant chance that eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity could di­verge from the fore­cast of con­tin­ued strength­en­ing of global ac­tiv­ity, the World Bank said in the an­nual re­port, ad­ding that “geopo­lit­i­cal ten­sions re­main el­e­vated, with po­ten­tial im­pacts on fi­nan­cial mar­ket con­fi­dence and volatil­ity”.

Ev­ery three years, the World Bank Group devel­op­ment part­ners meet to re­view IDA’S poli­cies, as­sess its fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity, agree on the amount of fi­nanc­ing for the next re­plen­ish­ment pe­riod, and com­mit to ad­di­tional con­tri­bu­tions of eq­uity that are re­quired to meet IDA’S ob­jec­tives and devel­op­ment goals.

Go­ing for­ward, IDA said it will con­tinue to grow its bor­row­ing pro­gramme to raise funds that com­ple­ment donor con­tri­bu­tions, en­abling it to ex­pand its life chang­ing in­vest­ments in the poor­est coun­tries.

L-R: Abio­dun Dabiri, gen­eral man­ager, La­gos State Met­ro­pol­i­tan Area Trans­port Au­thor­ity (LAMATA); Ladi Lawanson, com­mis­sioner for trans­porta­tion, and Ak­in­wunmi Am­bode, gov­er­nor, La­gos State, dur­ing the gov­er­nor’s in­spec­tion of the Oy­ingbo Bus Ter­mi­nal, in La­gos, yes­ter­day.

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