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World Bank appoints Ndiamé Diop as Country Director for Nigeria

The World Bank has appointed Dr Ndiamé Diop as the new Country Director for Nigeria, a statement by the Bank has said.

In a statement obtained on Monday, said Diop assumed his new position in Abuja and succeeded Shubham Chaudhuri, who completed his term in the same capacity.

It said in his new position, Diop will lead the World Bank’s team in Nigeria and deepen policy dialogue and partnership with the government and key stakeholders.

The statement said he would oversee the delivery and implementation of lending and non-lending support to Nigeria.

It said before Diop’s assignment to Abuja, he served as the World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.

“In this position, he more than tripled the bank’s financing to the Philippines to scale up the bank’s support to key economic reforms (policy-based budget support programmes).

“Also to support the nation’s endeavours to bridge disparities in various sectors, including nutrition, stunting, healthcare, social protection delivery, education, agriculture, and digital connectivity.

“In Malaysia, Diop supervised the delivery of a large Malaysia-funded knowledge programme aimed at helping the country become a high-income economy through cutting edge economic analyses and technical assistance.”

The statement said he engaged the Thai government to resume World Bank investment lending after a pause of two decades.

The statement also quoted Diop as saying “I am most excited to be leading the World Bank’s programme in Nigeria.

“Especially at this critical time when Nigeria has a significant opportunity to make progress towards improving its economy and delivering development outcomes for its citizens.

“I look forward to deepening our partnership with the Government of Nigeria at the Federal and states level ensuring quality technical and financial support which will help accelerate progress for Nigeria’s development priorities.”

Diop said Nigeria is a dynamic and vibrant country which is significant for the entire subregion.

“The Bank is most committed to working with the Government, development partners and citizens to realise a thriving economy where jobs and economic prospects are created, and millions of Nigerians are lifted out of poverty.”

It said Diop joined the World Bank in Washington DC in 2000 as a Young Professional.

The statement said he has held several leadership positions in the bank which include, Head of the Macroeconomics, and Trade and Investment unit for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

It said Diop was also Lead Economist for Indonesia, Lead economist roles for Jordan and Lebanon, and Country Economist roles in the Middle East and North Africa.

The statement said notably, he served as the bank’s Resident Representative for Tunisia between 2007 and 2010.

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Business

CBN sells $20,000 FX at N1450/$ to BDCs

The Central Bank of Nigeria said it sold foreign currency worth $20,000 to each eligible Bureau de Change operator at N1,450 per dollar.

A.A. Mahdi, the apex bank’s acting Director of Trade and Exchange Department, disclosed this in a notice on Thursday.

According to the notice: “To this end, the CBN has approved the sales of FX to eligible Bureau De Change (BDCs) to meet the demand for invisible transactions. The sum of S$20,000 is to be sold to each BDC at the rate of N1,450/$ (representing the lower band of the trading rate at NAFEM in the previous trading day).

“All BDCs are allowed to sell to eligible end-users at a margin not more than one point five per cent (1.5 %) above the purchase rate from CBN.”

The development led to the naira appreciating significantly on Thursday to N1,565 per dollar at the black market from N1,615.

Similarly, the naira also appreciated to N1,566.92 at the official FX market, according to FMDQ data on Thursday.

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Inflation increases to 34.19 percent – NBS

The headline inflation rate increased to 34.19% in the month of June, according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The report said food inflation also increased to 40.87 percent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.62% points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023 (25.25%).

It stated that the rise in food inflation was caused by increases in prices of Millet Whole grain, Garri, Guinea corn, etc (Bread and Cereals Class), Yam, Water Yam, Coco Yam (Potatoes, Yam & Other Tubers Class), Groundnut Oil, Palm Oil, etc (Oil & Fats Class) and Catfish Dried, Dried Fish-Sadine, Mudfish (Fish Class), etc.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.40% points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023, which was 22.79%. This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in the month of June 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e. June 2023).”

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“Furthermore, on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in June 2024 was 2.31%, which was 0.17% higher than the rate recorded in May 2024 (2.14%).”

“The rise in Food inflation on a Month-on-Month basis was caused by the rise in the rate of increase in the average prices of Groundnut Oil, Palm Oil, etc (Oil & Fats Class), Water Yam, Coco Yam, Cassava, etc (Potatoes, Yam & Other Tubers Class), Tobacco, Catfish Fresh, Croaker, Mud-
fish Fresh, Snail, etc, (Fish Class).

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It stated that all Items inflation rate on a Year-on-Year basis was highest in Bauchi (43.95%), Kogi (39.91%), and Oyo (39.15%), while Borno (25.90%), Benue (27.52%) and Katsina (29.21%) recorded the slowest rise in Headline inflation on Year-on-Year basis.

“On a Month-on-Month basis, however, June 2024 recorded the highest increases in Yobe (3.79%), Abuja (3.45%), Ondo (3.38%), while Nasarawa (0.71%), Osun (1.19%) and Kano (1.27%) recorded the slowest rise on Month-on-Month inflation.”

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Business

UAE resumes visa issuance to Nigerians

Immigration kicks as Nigerian passport ranks below Niger, Chad, others

The Federal Government and the government of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, have signed an agreement for the resumption of visa issuance to travellers with Nigerian passports wishing to travel to the Middle Eastern country.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, said the agreement took immediate effect.

He said, “You are aware that Nigeria has been discussing with the United Arab Emirates on the issue of visas for Nigerian passport holders going to the United Arab Emirates.

“Today, an agreement has been reached on that, and effective from today 15th July, Nigerian passport holders are able to obtain visa to go to the United Arab Emirates.

“Details of that will be provided to you latter today when we put out a statement.

“But I can tell you that the agreement has been reached, and effective from today, Nigerian passport holders intending to travel to the UAE are able to do so.”

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