The World Bank has approved about $2.2 billion (₦700 billion) to support six projects in Nigeria. The projects, according to the institution, are expected to support human capital and economic development in 2020. The projects will include improving immunisation, the expansion of the digital economy, job creation, and increasing public and private sector capacity on governance and social and environmental safeguards. World Bank country director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said the projects will deliver better services to Nigerians in the area of health, infrastructure, among others. Financiers for the projects include the Nigerian government, the International Development Association, the French Development Agency and the European Investment Bank.
The Nigerian government is blaming the current epileptic power supply in the country on the inability of distribution companies to distribute stranded power. The FG indicated Wednesday that it may dump the DisCos over the epileptic power supply. The Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, claimed that despite as much as ₦1.74 trillion injected to help the distribution sector, the FG is disappointed in output. He added that the government cannot continue to lose money. Mamman said that his Ministry has already forwarded a memo to the Federal Executive Council to decide the fate of DisCos that have failed to honour their commitments to buy and distribute adequate power generated for them by the generation companies. He said that Transmission Companies can only take 7GW, while Distribution Companies distribute only 3GW to Nigerians and in return pay for only 1GW. Meanwhile, the country has the capacity to generate 13GW. Mamman explained that the implication is technical and economic losses as the GenCos don’t get value for the electricity they generate and the end consumers also do not get adequate electricity despite the output of the GenCos.
The DG of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, has said that the continued closure of the country’s land borders is no longer sustainable. Ajayi-Kadir said many genuine businesses in the country are suffering, while some are on the verge of shutting down. Speaking at a ‘Stakeholders forum on the impact of border closure on Nigeria’s economy’ organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said that most of their members are complaining about their suffering businesses, particularly the food and tobacco industry that has spent more money to import their raw materials and export their finished goods within the West African sub-region. Those in paper and roofing sheet production are also complaining of the negative impact on their businesses.
The US government has given Nigeria conditions under which the recent change in visa policy could be reviewed. The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the US government maintained that Nigeria’s improved data intelligence, to make an investigation on any immigrant wishing to visit the United States easy and meet information-sharing systems, would be the ground the ban might likely be reviewed. Beth Leonard emphasised this while on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige. The policy does not cancel the status of anyone currently in the US, she added.