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Presidency clarifies Buhari’s statement to World Bank on shifting focus to “northern region of Nigeria”



President Buhari asked that we shift focus to Northern Nigeria - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim - BellaNaija

President Muhammadu Buhari

The Presidency has reacted to reports making the rounds that President Buhari asked that the World Bank shifts its “focus to the northern region of Nigeria”.

President Buhari asked that we shift focus to Northern Nigeria – World Bank President Jim Yong Kim

Speaking at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank Group, president of World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim said President Muhammadu Buhari asked that the group shifts focus to Northern Nigeria, saying “the work there has been very difficult”.

He said he advised Buhari that Nigeria has to invest in its people, and in things that will allow the country thrive.

He said:

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.

The presidency, reacting to the reports, said that Kim “was specifically asked a question about the Bank’s intervention in Northeast Nigeria.”

The presidency also shared a screenshot from the transcript at the meeting, which showed that a reporter from Nigeria asked  Kim “What can you tell us about Nigeria, specifically your intervention in the power sector, and also, what is the World Bank doing to support those ravaged in the northeastern part of Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorists?  Thank you.”

See below:

A statement signed by Buhari’s Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) Femi Adesina to that effect also read:



  1. Diamond

    October 13, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    Failed damage control. Mr. Kim’s statement is very clear.. Buhari told him that shit on their first meeting. It didn’t matter what the reporter’s question was. Mr. Kim innocently revealed what a shamelessly divisive Buhari said. It tells a lot about president of the North (not that I am surprised)

    • BlueEyed

      October 14, 2017 at 5:02 am

      You couldn’t have said it better.
      Divisive president busy fueling his own northern agenda and ruining the country even more

  2. nnenne

    October 13, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    So, you all are calling the world Bank president a liar?

    All Buhari has done,since he got into office supports that statement!


    October 14, 2017 at 12:23 am

    Corrupt provincial leader.

  4. truth

    October 14, 2017 at 5:15 am

    dont blame buhari, blame your southwest and midwest and southeast spineless corrupt representatives in government. they are selling your future and your children’s. May God helpus all and help nigeria to get a better leader.

  5. MauBanks

    October 14, 2017 at 6:51 am

    The crux of the matter is…wherever the World Bank focuses on will be ensuing financial very afraid!…. so if the World Bank is not focused on you, be happy…..we`ve got to accept a period of pain as long as we`re focused on investing our own “already in hand” capital/cash……which is eye wateringly more than enough….we must cease from being “educated fools”….

    • Diamond

      October 14, 2017 at 11:05 am

      You got it all wrong. It is still money from the South that will be used to repay whatever debt accrued. Whereas, the intervention funds went into the pockets of Buhari and few northern elites

  6. tunmi

    October 14, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I think we believe what we want whether the facts support it or not. The truth is that the north is worse off as a whole. The north desperately needs help and intervention. But we don’t care. U til it meets our doorsteps

    • Diamond

      October 14, 2017 at 11:01 am

      You have always been an APC minion/ Hausa fulani slave since day one. There is no part of Nigeria that doesn’t need intervention and development. The North needs help line is stale already, and stupid too because they have been in power for far far longer than any other part of Nigeria, rather their leaders have greedily and wickedly appropriated the nation resources to themselves, and refused to let the money spread amongst them. It is nobody’s fault they are lazy, and the enlightened amongst them only seek quick/easy money by clinging to power where they use pen to steal away billions of dollars. And the people have refused to hold their leaders accountable, allowing them use religion to deceive them.

    • tunmi

      October 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      So we leave the North to decay because they won’t hold their leaders accountable? It’s going to affect other parts of the country if we don’t do something quickly.

    • Lol

      October 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      TBH they need more than money, they need to change their cultural viewpoint. If their attitude isn’t right and customs aren’t progressive, no amount of money will make a difference.

    • miss_nk

      October 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      so the south, that has all the oil Nigeria depends on and where their sources of livelihood has been ruined, they have pollution problems, respiratory problems and a host of all other problems caused by the oil spill, when are we going to focus on the south?
      What happened to ogoniland clean up project? Mba, its only the north we should focus. You’re clearly not well

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