Nigeria will get the biggest share of the $65bn (N27tn) funding from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) to African countries.
This was announced Thursday when President Muhammadu Buhari joined African leaders in Dakar, Senegal to launch “the largest financial package ever mobilised in the history of the IDA — $93billion — geared towards a “robust and resilient economy for Africa.”
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The 20th replenishment package, IDA-20, is also expected to help low-income countries respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement titled, “At Dakar summit, Nigeria gets a big slice of IDA financial package” said 70 per cent ($65bn) of the entire package which amounted to $93bn (N38trn), will be channeled to various African states with the largest share being allocated to Nigeria.
Buhari said the package would prioritise some key areas such as “agriculture and food security, human capital, climate change adaptation, bridging the gender gap, job creation, digital and technological innovation, among others.”
He called on global partners for concerted efforts to help mitigate the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and stabilise developing economies towards sustainable growth.
President Buhari who spoke at the Opening Dialogue of African Heads of State on Development Challenges and Priorities at the International Development Association Summit for Africa-convened by Macky Sall, the President of Senegal and African Union Chairman-said Nigeria, through job creation, was determined to build an economy that is capable of withstanding shocks.
On Africa’s rising debt, Buhari lamented that developing countries that had faced unsustainable debt burdens even before the pandemic were still dealing with a new wave of deepening debt as vital public financial resources were allocated to external debt servicing and repayments, at the expense of domestic financing for critical developmental needs.
He was later conferred with the highest National Honour of the Republic of Senegal, “L’ Ordre National De Lion Senegal (The National Order of the Senegal Lion) after which he thanked President Sall, for the excellent diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Senegal.