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Aganga emerges World Bank chairman

MINISTER of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, emerged as the new Chairman of the Board of World Bank and International Monetary Fund, BWIs

By Daniel Idonor

ABUJA—MINISTER of Finance, Mr. Olusegun Aganga,  in Washington D.C. has emerged as the new Chairman of the Board of World Bank and International Monetary Fund, BWIs, after a keenly contested election.

This was just as the World Bank indicated interest to carry out a comprehensive audit of the power sector in the country with a view to finding lasting solution to the power crisis.

The move was a follow-up to the recent parley between Acting President Goodluck Jonathan and top management of the world financial body during his last visit to the United States, US.

Aganga told journalists at the meeting in Washington DC that the new appointment had further demonstrated the important role Nigeria plays in the global economic front.

He said: “As you are aware, Nigeria was elected as the chairman, board of the BWIs for the 2010 during the 2009 annual meeting held in Istanbul, Turkey. I am delighted to inform you that I have since assumed the responsibility of that office.”

The minister said the appointment was “a unique opportunity to serve” noting that such opportunities come once in every 20 to 30 years.

Describing the new role as a huge challenge, Aganga said he will not disappoint Nigeria and the international community that offered him the role under the current global economic recovery stage.

World Bank experts visit Nigeria for power audit

Meantime, a team of World Bank experts would be visiting Nigeria on May 10, 2010 for the exercise that would proffer solution to the power crisis in the country.

Addressing journalists at the World Bank/International Monetary Fund, IMF, 2010 Spring Meeting, in Washington DC, Aganga, who was joined by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, said because the issue of power had become central to the nation’s economy, the Federal Government was determined to engage power experts in all the fronts to tackle the problem.

Aganga noted: “The meeting was very fruitful, as the bank stands ready to assist the country. The meeting resolved to have a comprehensive audit of the power sector. A World Bank mission to this effect is envisaged for May 10, 2010.”

He told reporters that the Federal Government power committee had done its audit of the power sector, noting that what the World Bank promised to do with Nigeria was to share their own understanding of the power problem.

“They also have information to share with us and that is what the May 10, 2010 meeting is going to focus on,” the minister said.

Asked what the federal government intended to do to meet the power needs of the over 140 million Nigerians, Aganga said the acting president had assured investors and power experts of creating an enabling environment, that is giving the legal framework, in the sector as well as aligning and identifying investors that will key into the energy sector infrastructure development.

He noted that since financing was not the problem militating against the improvement of the power sector in the country, the government would, this time around concentrate on execution and having a plan that “we will adhere to” as well as ensuring that there was continuity in the entire power arrangement.

Other areas the minister said the World Bank had shown interests to assist the country include ensuring a systematic engagement and consultations on issues relating to agricultural sector.

He said the bank was also supporting ongoing reforms in the banking sector and the proposed Asset Management Company; strengthening the supervisory and regulatory framework for the financial sector and support for the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, in the country.

The minister said the meeting with Oby Ezekwesili, World Bank Vice President, Africa region also provided the opportunity to follow up on wide range of issues discussed with the World Bank Group during the visit of Jonathan mid April.


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