The World Bank in Nigeria 1998-2007: Nigeria Country Assistance Evaluation
Following the restoration of democracy in Nigeria, the World Bank worked closely with the federal government to help achieve the government's priorities of establishing good governance, rebuilding the country's infrastructure, improving service delivery, and promoting non-oil growth. Reflecting the... Full Description »
Following the restoration of democracy in Nigeria, the World Bank worked closely with the federal government to help achieve the government's priorities of establishing good governance, rebuilding the country's infrastructure, improving service delivery, and promoting non-oil growth. Reflecting the preference of the government, the Bank chose to initiate a large number of projects rather than to engage in up-front analytic work. Many of these projects ran into difficulties, partly because of the Bank's failure to factor into program design both the country's overall institutional weakness and the Nigerian authorities' inexperience in dealing with Bank procedures.
Economic reforms proceeded at a relatively slow pace; in mid-2003, however, the government created a reform team that acted decisively to improve fiscal discipline and public expenditure management, to make a start on public sector reform, and to introduce the changes in the institutional framework needed to address corruption. The Bank moved quickly to support these efforts, providing loan and grant support for needed capacity-building initiatives. The Bank also reevaluated its Nigeria portfolio and took steps to improve it and to ensure that it focused on priority issues. Arresting the deterioration of Nigeria's infrastructure has been a challenge; although the track record is littered with setbacks, support from the Bank now holds promise to help the government make tangible progress in this area.
The focus of Bank support is now shifting to Nigeria's 36 states. The state governments control roughly half of the country's public resources and carry the bulk of responsibility for service delivery. A key challenge facing the Bank is how to engage effectively with these governments. The approach proposed by the Bank, which entailed identifying “lead states,” held promise; however, it was not fully operationalized.
Overall, the outcomes of the Bank program in Nigeria are rated as moderately unsatisfactory. This rating recognizes the improvement later in the period reviewed in macro-economic management following the appointment of the reform team, but balances this against the moderately unsatisfactory progress in infrastructure development and service delivery. Working with state governments to ensure that the substantial resources they receive translate into real improvements in the lives of Nigerian citizens, most notably the country's poor, is the most important challenge facing the Bank in the next 5–10 years.
Content Type : Reports , Doc Sub Category : Country Program Evaluations , Country : Nigeria
July 1, 2010