Civil Society Organizations under the aegis of the Independent Technical Working Group (ITWG) on Social Inclusion have unveiled plans to engage with President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the World Bank and the International Monetary Development Fund (IMF) spring meeting holding in April at Washington DC.
The convener of the Taiwo Akerele who is also the Country Director of Policy House International said the aim of the meeting is constructively to engage with the President-Elect on the realization of his campaign promises.
While congratulating Tinubu on his winnings at the polls, Akerele said this is not the time to pop Champaign but time for work and planning the realization of his campaign promises. Hence the CSOs are dragging Bola Tinubu and his team to the spring meeting for constructive engagement.
Akerele stressed that the crisis of 18.6 million out-of-School children must be resolved under this new government which is why the partnership with the World Bank and the IMF, must be strengthened so that the discussion must start now.
He stated that under the Damaturu agreement, Nigeria signed to eliminate the out-of-school children menace by 2027 saying with the date coinciding with the celebration of the President-Elect’s four years in office will be a great achievement for Nigeria and indeed west Africa.
He however commended the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu among the delegation that will be attending the World Bank and IMF meeting.
He stressed the need for the Tinubu-led government to leverage on the World bank portfolio to invest in human capital such as basic education and primary health as the discussion has to begin now not later,
Akerele further called on the need for increased Technical Assistance from the IMF and the World Bank on encouraging gender-based budgeting introduced under the Buhari government and also social inclusion as Tinubu’s government cannot do less.
While calling on the incoming government to accelerate the diversification of the Nigerian economy, he said this couldn’t be achieved without leveraging on public-private partnership (PPP), suggesting that Bretton Woods institutions have the capacity to offer technical assistance in this regard.
He said, “it does not have to be a loan all the time, the incoming government has to demonstrate a willingness to take advantage of the resources available.”
“Most significantly, during this spring meetings, we want to sit down and have discussions around the food security program of the incoming government. You will recall that during the campaigns, Bola Tinubu was talking about Cassava and Grains but a lot of people misunderstood his food security program”.
“This is where a lot of support is required from experts including Nigerian-based and Nigerian-born experts from across the world, if Nigeria is to be self-sufficient in food production, Tinubu’s team need a lot of support on how his agriculture policy can be realized for the greater good of all Nigerians,” Akerele stated
He added,” We believe there is a need for synergy between our partners and the incoming government on agenda setting especially as we recover from the COVID-19 regime, gas supply shortages and the currency redesign crisis which is gradually abating”.