New Country Partnership Strategy in Nigeria Set to Spur Growth, Less Poverty
- On April 24, the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors endorsed the new World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2014-2017.
- Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy has set its sights on achieving ambitious development goals in partnership with the World Bank Group.
- The strategy recognizes that the World Bank Group’s impact derives not only from its financial resources which are small compared to the country’s own resources but also from its knowledge work, deep engagement and ability to mobilize other partners.
WASHINGTON, May 1, 2014—The World Bank Group’s collaboration with the Federal Republic of Nigeria received a boost on April 24th with the Board of Executive Directors endorsing a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) that includes support for a bold and ambitious program of development targets and interventions for the next four years to 2017.
Nigeria is recognized as Africa’s largest economy, following its recent GDP rebasing initiative on which the Word Bank advised. It is the region's most populous country, its largest oil producer, and an ethnically diverse nation, with over 400 linguistic groups represented in 36 states.
The strategy’s endorsement comes at an opportune time just as Nigeria is redoubling its efforts to tackle critical development challenges and is committing itself to lift major constraints that are hindering it from achieving broad-based, inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction goals.
Nigeria has been growing at 6 to 8% annually over the past decade but now needs to achieve even higher job-led growth rates to make a dent in poverty. Another key challenge facing Nigeria is to diversify its economy and reduce its heavy reliance on oil which makes the country vulnerable to commodity price volatility.
“The new strategy is a joint product, developed in close consultation with the Government of Nigeria under the Country Assistance Framework, a strategic platform developed by Nigeria’s partners to coordinate interventions and leverage resources to deliver strong results and development solutions,” said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria. “It reflects Nigeria’s development aspirations and commits the World Bank Group to working hand-in-hand to unleash Nigeria’s potential for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
The World Bank Group’s support for Nigeria is structured around three strategic priorities:
- Promoting diversified growth and job creation by reforming the power sector, enhancing agricultural productivity and increasing access to finance
- Improving the quality and efficiency of social service delivery at the state level to promote social inclusion
- Strengthening governance and public sector management with gender equity and conflict sensitivity as essential elements of governance
The new strategy is a joint product, developed in close consultation with the Government of Nigeria under the Country Assistance Framework, a strategic platform developed by Nigeria’s partners to coordinate interventions and leverage resources to deliver strong results and development solutions.
The new partnership strategy, jointly developed with the Government of Nigeria, is supportive of and complements the country’s Vision 20: 2020 plan and Transformation Agenda. The former sets out Nigeria’s long-term development objectives including promoting sustainable growth and welfare improvements for the Nigerian people while the latter is the country’s medium-term strategy for operationalizing Vision 20: 2020.
The new strategy seeks to exploit synergies for generating maximum development impact through innovative solutions while leveraging World Bank Group knowledge and technical expertise, including through other partners’ resources.
Energy Sector Engagement
Most development experts agree that pervasive energy shortages are severely restricting economic growth in Nigeria. With approximately 3,500 megawatts of total available capacity in 2013, against an estimated demand of 10,000 MW, Nigeria has considerable unmet demand for power.
In recent years, significant progress has been made in the power sector which has the highest potential to propel the economy to grow faster. In 2009, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) launched the ‘Roadmap for Power Sector Reform’ outlining comprehensive reforms across the power sector. This ambitious effort is one of the most comprehensive and complex ever undertaken in Africa.
The reform program establishes an independent regulator for the sector (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission), sets up a commercial framework for the sector, with cost-reflective electricity tariffs, establishes a bulk trader, privatizes the Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s (PHCN) six successor generation companies and continues efforts to strengthen the gas-to-power segment. Significant progress has been achieved in all these areas, which has already led to tangible improvements in available supply, increased grid stability, increased revenue collection, and the introduction of a cost-reflective, multi-year tariff.
As Nigeria pursues its ambitious plan to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020, the World Bank Group looks forward to being a steady partner to accelerate efforts to end poverty and boost shared prosperity in Africa’s largest, most populous country. This in turn will also benefit Nigeria’s neighbors across West Africa.