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W’Bank concludes projects review visit in Nigeria, mute on Kim’s comment in Oct. 2017

The recent high caliber delegation from the World Bank has been rounded off by the 10 man mission without giving any sign that their visit was partly to find out if the pronouncement of the bank’s President Mr. Jim Yong Kim in October last year.

World Bank boss had in October 13, 2017 at the World Bank/IMF Joint Meeting in US, said that the bank had concentrated on the northern region of Nigeria in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s request when he assumed office.

Several Nigerians were on standby to observe if the delegation would tour Northern Nigeria to find out if truly majority of the bank’s development projects were concentrated in the north, the way and manner the group came and left have shown that such investigation was not in their mind after all.

Besides, efforts of the Nigerian media to find out from the leader of the delegation, Ms. Bongi Kunene, if the spread of projects was part of their briefs, both in Abuja, Lagos Edo States where the team had meetings with stakeholders  failed.

But in his remarks, the Executive Director, Angola, Nigeria and South Africa sub-group, World Bank, Ms. Kunene, averred that the bank would continue to commit to delivery of life changing tailored schemes in Nigeria.

Speaking during the visit to the Azura-Edo Independent Power Project in Ihovbor, Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of Edo State, Kunene said that the institution was open to partnerships as long as they were in line with its focus. She also described the Azura-Edo power plant as a transformational project, which had the capacity to provide solutions.

According to her, “The project is transformational. It gives us a scope of what we can do together. We are delighted to see solutions. We will want to commit ourselves to projects that make sense and are in line with our focus”.

On the modality for project financing and execution, Kunene observed that “First of all, approvals happen at the government level. It starts with land and making sure that the area is zoned properly and that the environmental impact assessment has been done and is up to world standards”.

Several development analysts are yet to interpret what actually prompted the visit by World Bank official as issues they discussed as key matters failed to pass stress test in terms of adding value to the economy within an election year.