10 January 2013

Jonathan and Okonjo-Iweala
Jonathan and Okonjo-Iweala

ABUJA — The Federal Government has said the World Bank has increased Nigeria’s share holding in the bank by additional 119, a development that is expected to increase the nation’s voice in the affairs of the bank.
Minister of State Finance, Yerima Ngama, who spoke to newsmen said the development had ranked Nigeria among the league of nations whose opinions would become relevant as major decisions are taken in the bank.
Ngama said with Nigeria’s current shares at the bank put at about 1100, it represented a positive sign of strong confidence in Nigeria’s economic policies under the President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda and was expected to, among other things, further drive foreign Direct Investment in 2013.
He said: “This is certificate of good health which will attract investors into this country. If out of 118 countries, Nigeria is among the best 16.
“Our own peers are Argentina, Brazil China, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Korea, Kuwait Mexico, Poland, Russia Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Ukraine and Venezuela
“From the 16, only two countries are from Africa. Nigeria and South Africa.”
Ngama noted that the development which was coming under the bank’s “voice reform programme” followed people complaints about the marginalisation of the continent by the bank.
“Complains that World Bank group is dominated by the West, led the bank to come up with its voice reformed programme by setting up a committee which selected 180 countries out of which the final 16, including Nigeria, finally emerged as a benefiting nation.
“This selection was based on clear cut criteria, including  strength of economy, rate of growth of the economy; contributions of the country to global economic architecture and based on these criteria, Nigeria was among the 16 countries that were selected.
“The rate at which we are implementing the transformation agenda, Nigeria will emerge one of the top 20 economies of the world”
“The way we measure the growth of the economy is basically  through productivity. We can use the market base exchange rate or we can use the PPP exchange rate.”
He said “the PPP exchange rate gives a better comparison across countries and that is what the World Bank is using.”
He added that a look at PPP exchange rate showed that Nigeria is far in excess of $450 billion.


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