The World Bank held talks with the Nigerian president on Wednesday on how it could help Nigeria overcome an economic crisis caused mainly by a sharp fall in crude prices eating into its oil revenues. On her second day of meetings with Nigerian officials, World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati met President Muhammadu Buhari, who plans to stimulate the flagging economy with a record 6 trillion naira ($31 billion) budget.
Nigeria will have to borrow 1.8 trillion naira from abroad and at home to help fund the budget, which has been delayed by several months and wrangling with parliament, if it goes ahead. Although Nigeria has held talks with the World Bank over a possible loan or credit facility in recent months, Indrawati did not address this when speaking to reporters after the meeting.
“We would like to know how we can help Nigeria to make the very important decisions, whether on micro economic policy and other sectoral policy, that will make this economy move forward to become a strong middle income country,” she said. Indrawati, who met Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun on Tuesday, said she and Buhari discussed the government’s “commendable goals to improve tax collection and crackdown on corruption. Nigeria’s economy, the largest in Africa, grew by 2.8 percent last year, its slowest pace since 1999.