The World Bank says it “has to take some responsibility’’ for advising Nigeria and other African countries to invest more in roads, railways and energy rather than in education and health.
The World Bank President, Mr Jim Yong Kim, made this known I while briefing the media after the launch of the 2018 Human Capital Index (HCI), which ranked Nigeria 152nd out of 157 countries believed to be committed to investing in human capital.
Kim briefed the media on Thursday at the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia.
“Nigeria, unfortunately, ranks number 152 out of 157 countries.
“We provide quite a bit of support for Nigeria in terms of the health budget. But we feel that the overall spending on health is just far too low, 0.76 per cent of GDP.
Also, the educational outcomes in Nigeria are very very poor. Nigeria is one of the most important countries not only in Africa but in the world and so we feel that it will be extremely important for Nigeria to really go on a different level altogether in terms of their commitment to investing in human capital.
I think that the World Bank has to take some responsibility for having emphasised hard infrastructure, roads, rails, energy for a very long time and I think that changed 20 years ago.
But there is still then the bias that says we will invest in hard infrastructure and then when we grow rich, we will have enough money to invest in health and education.
We are now saying that that’s really the wrong approach, that you’ve got to start investing in your people right now,” he said.