Nigeria: Osinbajo Meets World Bank President in Washington, Seeks Support to End Oil Subsidies, and Others

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World Bank Group President David Malpass met with Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo yesterday as part of efforts to win support from the multilateral institution to end the gasoline subsidy which has become a drain for Nigeria.

The meeting that took place in Washington was disclosed in a statement posted on the World Bank’s website.

Commenting on the meeting on his official Twitter account, the World Bank boss said it was a “productive meeting today with Vice President @ProfOsinbajo of Nigeria. Good discussions on the importance of unification and stabilization of the exchange rate, phasing out of fuel subsidies, Nigeria’s energy transition plan & integrating climate & development.”

However, the statement quotes Malpass as saying that the discussion with Osinbajo also centered on Nigeria’s energy transition plan, the importance of exchange rate unification and stabilization as well as climate and climate mainstreaming. development.

He welcomed Nigeria’s commitment to achieving universal energy access and reducing GHG emissions while maintaining reliable base load.

President Malpass stressed the importance of mainstreaming climate and development, as well as the need for an enabling policy and regulatory environment alongside strengthened institutions in the energy sector.

Malpass told Vice President Osinbajo that the World Bank Group stands ready to help Nigeria phase out regressive fuel subsidies, while increasing social assistance for the poor and vulnerable.

He encouraged a decisive move towards unification and stabilization of the exchange rate by Nigeria, emphasizing the economic benefits for the Nigerian people.

“President Malpass emphasized to Vice President Osinbajo that a unified exchange rate will significantly improve the business environment in Nigeria, attract foreign direct investment and reduce inflation.

“President Malpass and Vice President Osinbajo also discussed the importance of increasing domestic revenue by broadening Nigeria’s tax base and increasing efficiency in tax administration,” the statement added.

The federal government estimates that 6.7 trillion naira would be spent on petrol subsidies next year.

The World Bank‘s country director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, had said Nigeria would continue to face fiscal pressures due to the soaring cost of fuel subsidies at a time when production continues to fall.

The World Bank chief pointed out that Nigeria, for the first time since its return to democracy and as the only major oil exporter, has been unable to benefit from the exceptional opportunity created by the rise world oil prices currently, due to its rising burden of gasoline subsidies.

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