The World Bank has reassured of its commitment to support governments at all levels in Nigeria to deliver on their mandate of providing good governance and services to the people.
Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director of the Bank, said this at the induction for elected governors in Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.
Chaudhuri said that the bank looked forward to more bilateral engagements and programmes that could be supported in various states.
“We are here to help Nigerian government, both the federal and sub national level to deliver to all your citizens”.
“We can we are here to support Nigeria, not just for financing, but hopefully to provide support in any way we can to meet its challenges”.
“Beyond financing, we provide a range of analytic and advisory services,” Chaudhuri said.
He said that Nigeria had no reason not to be on positive trajectory in terms of GDP and Per Capita Income like Indonesia who shared certain similarities with the country including oil production, population and democracy.
Speaking with newsmen at the sideline of the event Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State said that he believed the bank should raise a red flag on Nigeria’s rising debt profile
“Honestly, you heard me ask a question. I wonder what the World Bank is doing”.
“Apart from giving us grants, assistance States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) and of course loans they should be able to raise a red flag.
“They should be able to tell the managers of our economy that we cannot continue to borrow endlessly,” he said.
Mohammed said that the rising debt profile of government had affected both the federal and state governments, hence the need for country to correct its perception about debt and for states to look inward for resources.
“Our debt servicing requirement is about 95 per cent of the revenue. So the states are affected by this macro economic reality.
“The oil proceeds are not been shared. And we are here celebrating success, what success?
“We are going to go under, unless we do something inward to really correct our own perception, our own notions and our own approaches to the management of the economy of the country”.
“It is a monolithic economy. And yet even where we are getting money, we have taken so much up front. The federation has to be looked at as a structure because states have to have a say in the management of the economy,” Mohammed said.
On his part, the Plateau State Governor-elect, Mr Caleb Mutfwang, said Nigeria did not need World Bank to serve it warning before knowing that its debt profile had gotten to an alarming point.