2 May 2019

Nigeria: No, World Bank Isn't Setting Up a 'Central Bank of Biafra'

Photo: World Bank
World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC (file photo).

A report by the Pointer News that claims the World Bank is set to establish the Central Bank of Biafra has been shared over 500 times on Facebook.

The news site posted the report, "World Bank set to established Central Bank of Biafra in Abia State," on its Facebook page on 30 March 2019. (Note: The Pointer News has published several questionable reports, many of them pro-Biafra.)

The post includes a photo, which a reverse image search reveals to be of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, meeting Julie Ward, a UK member of the European Parliament.

Ward tweeted the photo on 1 February 2019 saying, "Nice to meet with @BlessedBiafrans @IPOBNorthWestUK @MaziNnamdiKanu @mefonna at my constituency office."

The two-paragraph article claims the "initiative" was decided "after series of meeting with the United Nations and the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, alongside with his team in Switzerland".

But it did not quote any World Bank or UN official or give details about the global bank's involvement in establishing a national bank for Biafra, a nonexistent country.

'World Bank's involvement is untrue'

The World Bank is not involved in setting up a central bank for any country, Mansir Nasir, a senior communications officer at the bank, told Africa Check.

"We wish to affirm that the information citing the World Bank's involvement is untrue. We are not involved with any plan to set up a central bank in any country," he said in an email.

"The World Bank Group provides financing, policy advice, and technical assistance to governments of developing countries to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity amongst their citizens."

Supporters of Biafra created a Facebook page called Central Bank of Biafra on 24 February 2016.

The page, which has more than 3,200 Facebook followers, pushes pro-Biafra narratives and has shared a number of designs for a proposed Biafran currency. - Allwell Okpi (02/05/19)

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