Considering its commitment to reforms, Nigeria has called for more concessional resources through a robust International Development Association (IDA) to galvanise the growth momentum required to assist the continent in its long-term development aspirations.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the call in his remarks delivered on his behalf by Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, at the meeting of African Heads of States Summit on IDA in Abidjan, according to a statement by Special Adviseron Media & Communications, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi.
According to the President, since they met last in Paris under President Macron’s initiative, “we had all resolved to be emphatically resolute in underscoring the imminent threats to Africa’s decade long developmental gains and solicit the support of the international community to strengthen the outcomes.”
Given the magnitude of the challenges, President Buhari said that they were hopeful that together, a very robust replenishment awaits them in Tokyo.
He said, “Given the enormity of the challenges, if we are not strongly purposeful on the African agenda, Sub- Saharan Africa will not be able to fully attain the sustainable development goals (SDGs)”.
On the essence of the meeting, President Buhari said: “Although, we have been consulting both bilaterally and under the umbrella of the ECOWAS and the AU, our meeting today is to continue this discussion by engaging with our trusted partner – the World Bank Group especially IDA which has remained in solidarity with us for all this while”.
According to him, Africa’s resource needs are consistent with that of the SDGs as encapsulated in the 2015 Addis Ababa declaration of Financing for development document ‘From Billions – to – Trillions’.
“We agree that these needs cannot be met with Official Development Assistance (ODA) alone, we are, therefore, stepping up our domestic resources mobilisation efforts, but the pandemic has created a new sense of urgency and gravity”, he affirmed.
However, as they exchanged views on how to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and focus on building back better in the long-term development trajectory even at the risk of repetition.
The President further highlighted: “Some of the critical challenges we are facing requires strong support and solidarity from our IDA friends… we are aware that the pandemic left behind some unpleasant scars on all economies irrespective of their income status including the donor community.
“For us in Africa, apart from the threats of third wave of the pandemic and the lack of access to affordable vaccine in a timely manner, there is severe food crisis ravaging most of our countries and this has great implications on our human capital index.
“This is in addition to the ravaging impacts of climate change as evidenced in the Sahel, Lake Chad and Horn of Africa.
President Buhari noted that the region also faces massive infrastructural needs ranging from roads, rails and telecommunication networks that will support efforts at joining the digital revolution in order to support the jobs creation efforts.
“The net effect of all these challenges has continued to manifest itself in fragility, forced displacement, increased poverty and hunger, which results in the raving migration.
“Given the current lack of fiscal space and increasing debt vulnerabilities, addressing all these, according to him, requires a combination of political will, a fully reformed policy arena and a pool of concessionary resources.
“We must continue to build partnerships and global solidarity especially with the most vulnerable population most of who are domiciled in Africa. The World Bank Group (WBG) and indeed the international community cannot afford to claim success in their mandates with Africa still left behind in almost every sphere of life.