The Managing Director of Policy House International and the Executive Director of Incentive Based Initiative (IBI) Nigeria Taiwo Akerele has advised the world bank and the IMF to refocus its operations in Africa to infrastructure based financing and reduced its portfolio on social development to promote an enhanced accountability mechanism for the governments in the region.
He stated this at the CSO virtual side events during the annual meetings of the world bank in Washington DC, United States of America. He was quoted ‘Africa is lacking in key infrastructure especially economically viable highways, referral hospitals, dams, renewable energy and mechanized agriculture, our focus should be how to fund these sectors that can pay back itself, generate employment, bring revenue and tax to the government, promote private sector participation and a sustainable economic growth”
You have done quite a bit on primary health care through the Global Financing facility, your portfolio on education is huge, you have done well on public finance management and budget reforms in the last 20 years however, to test the capacity and efficiency of the governments in the region after two decades of sustained support through IDA credits, its time to shift focus. Perhaps your support for infrastructure financing should be hinged on how much budgetary commitment the government is ready to make to key sectors such as primary health care, immunization and primary education.
Mr Akerele used the opportunity to draw the attention of the global body during the CSO sessions to the crisis of out of school kids in some parts of Nigeria especially the north east region where close to 40% of the total national Out of school children are located. He called for incentives to parents to support the existing infrastructure that is already in place and enhanced security architecture to drive enrollment significantly in the next half a decade.
The development economist further commended the Nigerian government for supporting the world Bank in the implementation of the Basic Education Service Delivery for all project (BESDA) in some parts of the country insisting that local ownership is key to result outcomes.
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