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'8% economic growth inadequate for poverty reduction'

16 January 2013, 07:38

Abuja - The World Bank Vice President for Africa, Dr Mukhtar Diop, has said that Nigeria's eight per cent economic growth is not sufficient to reduce the poverty rate in the country.

Diop said this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of his first official visit to Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.

"My personal assessment of the country is that the country’s economy is moving in the right direction, with a consistent growth of about eight per cent for the recent years.

"Is it sufficient? No, is it sufficient to reduce poverty at the rate Nigeria’s authority and Nigeria people want? No.

"Can it be accelerated? Yes, there is some possibility," he said.

According to him, it can be accelerated by tackling issues of electricity to ensure that more businesses thrived in the country.

He added that steady power supply would go a long way in improving the daily lives of ordinary Nigerians.

Diop said that improved power generation in Nigeria was of interest to the bank and gave the assurance that the institution would continue to support the sector.

He called for a change of structure and independent management of some of the entities in the sector as well as good regulatory framework to help monitor development.

Diop also stressed the need to invest in long-term projects that would lead to human capital development.

"Without education, health and other basics of life, productivity of labour in Nigeria will be affected, the method and quality of education needs to be improved.

"This is an area that we will like to work with the government."

He urged the Federal Government to ensure proper evaluation of the impact of its programmes and initiatives on the citizens.

"Our contribution is to bring information to the forefront to help Nigeria find the right path and pace to implement its reforms."



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