World Bank chief urges investment for economic recovery

Nigeria needs accelerated investment in human capital — World Bank

Nigeria needs accelerated investment in human capital — World Bank

Kim, while speaking at the ongoing World Bank/Annual Meeting in Washington DC, said "You know, in my very first meeting with President Buhari he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we've done that". Investing in the things that will allow Nigeria to be a thriving, rapidly growing economy in the future is what the country has to focus on right now.

Noting that Nigeria now spends less than one percent of its annual budget on health, Kim stated: "The conversation we need to have with Nigeria, I think, is in many ways, related to the theme that I brought to the table just this past week which is, investment in human capital".

PUNCH had reported that Jim Yong Kim, president of the group, said at a news conference in Washington DC, US, on Thursday, that Buhari asked the organisation to focus on the northern part of the country. "I think things are just now getting better", he said while urging the country to reduce its dependence on oil revenues. "We are pursuing private sector solutions whenever they can help achieve development goals and reserving scarce public finance for where it is most needed - particularly investments in human capital", he said. "The percentage of GDP that Nigeria spends on healthcare is less than one percent". "So, yes focus on the north, hope that as commodity prices stabilise, oil prices come back up and the economy will grow a bit more but very, very much focus on what the drivers of growth in the future will be", he said.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, yesterday, said the performance of the economies of Nigeria and the other 49 countries in the sub-Sahara Africa was below potential and too low, compared with the population growth in the region.

Lagarde, in her remarks, said Sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, had posted suboptimal growth in recent times.

"Overall, we are seeing growth rise in most developing and advanced economies - which is why countries need to make critical investments now".

"It is still too low for the demographic growth and for that region to take advantage of the demographic of all the young people who are coming up and trying to have access to the economy and have a job, it is too low".