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Statement April 8, 2021

Readout from World Bank Group President David Malpass’s Meeting with Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Nigeria

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2021 - Today, World Bank Group David Malpass met with Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Nigerian Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, and Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. President Malpass and Minister Ahmed discussed Nigeria’s ongoing COVID-19 response, and the need for fast deployment of vaccines. President Malpass confirmed the World Bank Group’s readiness to support the vaccine distribution process, as well as for procurement of additional vaccine doses. President Malpass affirmed to Minister Ahmed the World Bank Group’s eagerness to support critical development issues in Nigeria as they work toward a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery.

President Malpass encouraged work toward exchange rate unification, highlighting the importance of moving decisively to benefit growth and wages. President Malpass emphasized that a liberalized exchange rate will significantly benefit the poor, reduce inflation, and attract private investment to support Nigeria’s recovery from COVID-19. The President and Minister also discussed further reforms to phase out energy subsidies, noting the importance of compensatory measures for the poor and vulnerable.