16 January 2013

Nigeria: World Bank - Poverty Has Reduced in Nigeria

The World Bank has praised economic policies of the present administration declaring that it has led to slight reduction in the country's poverty index from 48 to 46 percent.

Speaking when he visited President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, World Bank's vice president for Africa, Mr Mouktar Diop, said Nigeria's economic indicators remained positive even times of recession.

He said "at the time when the economy is going down, we have seen that Nigeria has been keeping a growth rate which is rather significant. So, I was here to hear from the President's priority and discuss other issues such as how poverty has been evolving in the country and what we can do to accelerate the reduction of poverty.

"Our work recently has shown that there is slight reduction in the level of poverty in Nigeria moving from 48 to 46 percent. The trend is good. It needs to be accelerated obviously. What we discussed are the policies that we can put in place to accelerate the pace of poverty reduction in Nigeria."

Diop said the World Bank has decided to intervene in Nigeria's energy crisis saying, "We decided at the World Bank to put up a task force which will include private sector branch to support the reform. It is good that the reform is really making progress. I was with the main players of the power sector today, and they were all happy with the reform process so far."

On his part, Jonathan said though some of the reforms were not easy to push through, his administration would continue to do its best towards ensuring sustainable growth in the country.

"We will continue to do our best. We would have had more robust growth by now but for the global economic recession. With your continued support, we will certainly achieve more," the president said.

Jonathan said that with the continued support of the World Bank, other international institutions and investors the Federal Government will achieve an even higher growth rate for the national economy.

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