In a telling revelation, President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, has said Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari asked the bank to concentrate development projects on the northern region of the country.
Kim at press conference in Washington DC, United States on the sidelines of the World Bank Annual meeting, also advised Buhari to invest in things that would enhance economic growth.
“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. Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult.
“I think Nigeria, of course, has suffered from the dropping oil prices. I think things are just now getting better. But 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. The percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that Nigeria spends on healthcare is less than one percent,” Kim said.
He added, “Despite that, there is so much turbulence in the northern part of the country, and there is the hit that was taken from the drop in the oil prices. Nigeria has to think ahead and invest in its people. 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.”
During the run-up to the 2015 elections, Buhari was severally accused of being pro-North to the exclusion of other parts of the country, and has faced accusations of nepotism since his election.