Former world bank Vice President, Oby Ezekwesili, has opened up on the request made by President Muhammadu Buhari to the World Bank, to concentrate on the Northern part of the country.
Ezekwesili, who was vice-president of the organization at the time, explained what really happened.
In a series of tweets, She wrote: “I want EVERYONE to KNOW that the statement made by the @WorldBank President @JimYongKim IS NOT AS IT SOUNDS. I should KNOW. I was VP there.
“No. No. No, dear people. The FACT of that statement by the @WorldBank President @JimYongKim is NOT AS IT SOUNDS. I will explain.
“As a practice, POST- conflict zones -e.g. Northern Uganda, Northern CAR, Eastern DRC receive Special Focus from .@WorldBank .It MAKES SENSE!
“As the destabilization in the North East worsened Human Development Indicators in North East Nigeria, our country SADLY JOINED that List.
“Our Africa Strategy when I became VP of @WorldBank 48 countries including Nigeria PRIORITIZED QUICK RECONSTRUCTION of PostConflict areas.
“The Evidence-Based justification for PRIORITIZING Post-Conflict Reconstruction is that it helps BUILD RESILIENCE & Prevents a RELAPSE.
“In ALL the cases of countries like CAR, DRC, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Guinea (both Bissau & Conakry) this was the APPROACH.
“Prioritizing Reconstruction of Post-Conflict zone in ANY of those countries FACTUALLY PROVED to be KEY for REST OF COUNTRY GROWTH&STABILITY!
“The BENEFIT of becoming a Priority is that our Knowledge program ( Economic & Social Studies) &sizable portion of Loan will target the area.
“It however DOES NOT MEAN that the REST OF SUCH COUNTRY becomes NEGLECTED in the Knowledge & Lending Programs of the Bank. NOT AT ALL.
“The prioritizing given to North East in discussion between @JimYongKim & @MBuhari is thus NOT UNUSUAL AT ALL. Let’s NOT POLITICIZE IT please
“At time they met in 2015, serious work and discussions already took place among Development Partners on HOW BEST TO HELP STABILIZE North East.
Buhari’s request has been widely criticised by some Nigerians who accused the President of focusing development in the north at the detriment of other regions.
But Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education said, “The current brouhaha is of course triggered by CONTEXT of EXISTING TENSIONS occasioned by our President’s POOR MANAGEMENT of OUR DIVERSITY.