A recent statement by President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim that President Muhammadu Buhari asked the world finance body to focus its funding efforts on the Northern Part of the country has raised some dust with some people accusing the President of favaouring the North.
According to Kim, who disclosed on the sidelines of a conference held in Washington, he said President Buhari specifically requested that the World Bank shifted its focus on the Northern Region and the body has done that. He however, stated that the bank was facing difficulties working in the region.
While the President may have valid reasons for his request, virtually every part of the country is burdened by one issue or the other. The South-South is reeling from the effects of oil pollution and militancy. The Middle Belt has recently been hit by severe flooding. The South-East is battling with erosion. State governments across the country are also struggling, and had to be bailed out by the Federal government.
The North East has a Presidential Committee which has raised funds for relief efforts, in addition to assistance from foreign governments and private individuals. So, why the extra attention? For a President who has been accused of being partial towards the north in terms of appointments and several comments he has made, the request made to the World Bank only enhances such sentiments.
The North typically lags behind other parts of the country, in terms of development indices such as education and health. The North East in particular has been plagued by Boko Haram, which has left people in the region malnourished and essential infrastructure damaged.
The World Bank is an international finance institution that provides loans to countries for capital programs. The bank was created in 1944 at the Bretton Woods conference alongside the International Monetary Fund (IMF).