The President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, on Thursday, revealed that the bank had concentrated on the northern region of Nigeria in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s request.
Kim made this known yesterday at a press conference in Washington DC, United States, which was attended by the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde.
His words: “You know, in my very first meeting with President Buhari he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that. Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult.
“I think Nigeria, of course, has suffered from the dropping oil prices. I think things are just now getting better. But the conversation we need to have with Nigeria, I think, is in many ways related to the theme that I brought to the table just this past week, which is investment in human capital. The percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that Nigeria spends on healthcare is less than one percent.”
“Despite that, there is so much turbulence in the northern part of the country, and there is the hit that was taken from the drop in the oil prices. Nigeria has to think ahead and invest in its people. Investing in the things that will allow Nigeria to be a thriving, rapidly growing economy in the future is what the country has to focus on right now.”
“Focusing on the northern part of Nigeria, we hope that as commodity prices stabilise and oil prices come back up, the economy will grow a bit more. But very, very much important is the need to focus on what the drivers of growth in the future will be.”
In April 2016, Kim was in Nigeria for three days during which he met with Buhari.
Meanwhile, the latest revelation has already started to stir outrage on social media with a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, taking the front seat in the vehicle of those venting chagrin on the president.
Tweeting on Friday morning, Fani-Kayode, claimed Buhari sees Nigerians from the South and Middle Belt as “low-lifes, vassals and slaves”.
President of the World Bank, Kim Yong Jim, has said that @MBuhari told him to concentrate their efforts on northern Nigeria.
Why am I not surprised? After all as far as @MBuhari is concerned southern Nigerians and Middle Belters are nothing but low-lifes, vassals and slaves.
— Femi Fani-Kayode (@realFFK) October 13, 2017
Quite a number of Nigerians have frequently accused Buhari of promoting northern interests since he came to office in 2015, with this believed to be a major trigger for the Biafra agitation and calls for restructuring in southern Nigeria.
Here are other tweets that showed Nigerians are not too happy with the latest revelation.
Why are y’all acting surprised that President Buhari directed the World Bank to concentrate on Northern Nigeria? is that even news? pic.twitter.com/KPdKHcmg3c
— FAVOUR ONYEOZIRI (@Rouvafe) October 13, 2017
Retweet if you’re not surprised that President Buhari asked The World Bank to concentrate it’s efforts on Northern Nigeria
— Tweeter Active (@_Tweeteractive) October 13, 2017
If Buhari told the World Bank president to focus on the North, you can rest assured that he told the heads of DFiD and USAID to do the same.
— Onye Nkuzi (@cchukudebelu) October 13, 2017
World Bank: Buhari asked us to focus on Northern Nigeria
This man’s incompetemce & ethnocentrism is now world class pic.twitter.com/PIihWr4k6o
— Lérd Chigbọ ā (@itschigbo) October 13, 2017
Why wld a president of a country consisting of 3 major tribes, Hausa, Igbo & Yoruba tell World Bank to focus on the north.
This is not fair?
— Kemi Ariyo (@d_problemsolver) October 13, 2017