By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN—THE World Bank, yesterday, said the former military President, General Ibrahim
Babangida, never got its support for the Structural Adjustment
Programme, SAP, he introduced in the 1980s.
It said Nigerians should exclude it from all attendant problems that greeted the introduction of the programme.
Bank Country Director for Nigeria and Africa Region, Mr. Onno Ruhl, who
made the disclosure at a lecture in honour of late Professor Samson
Olayide who died in 1985 at Ibadan, said it was regrettable that the
country has continued to heap all the blames for the failure of SAP on
the banking institution.
Ruhl noted that if the institution should be blamed at all, the blame should be that it worked for the military for too
said: “Babangida never got our support for the Structural Adjustment
Programme, SAP, that he introduced and yet we were getting all the
blames for it. The only thing he did was that the recommendations he
made was the same we recommended for other countries.”
who spoke on the topic entitled, “Nigeria and World Bank - Friend or
Foe” at the programme organized by the Agricultural Economics Students’
Association in conjunction with the Students’ Union Transition
Government, University of Ibadan, said the country had dysfunctional
governance system especially around service delivery.
argued that though corruption was being touted as the major enemy
inhibiting the country’s growth and development, governance was the
Other challenges which he said still militated against
the economic growth of the country included weak, non-functional and
deteriorating infrastructure - energy, transport and water resources.
commended achievements that Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State
had recorded saying many other governors he went had continued to ask
him to disclose the magic wand that Governor Fashola used to have made
such positive impacts.
He added that the urban transport projects in
Lagos State combined institutional and regulatory reform together with
specific investments, adding that it encompassed all elements of
successful public_private partnerships.
Reiterating that the World
Bank had never been a foe, he itemized some of the benefits that the
country had gained from the bank.
He said the bank was working for a
world free of poverty through promotion of growth to create economic
opportunities; helping poor people to take advantage of these
opportunities, and providing interest-free credits to support Nigeria’s
Ruhl added that the bank, through the IDA, had
put in more than 269,859 HIV positive persons on ART, tested close to
30,000 people and set up 640 counselling and testing centres.