Says it is time to be careful with public spending
As Nigeria goes to the polls in January 2011, the World Bank has advised Nigerians on the qualities they should look for in candidates vying for elective posts.
The Bank, apparently keenly watching the unfolding issues in the nation’s political landscape, told BusinessDay in an exclusive interview that only those aspirants with the potential to translate the nation’s vast resources into results that would change the status-quo and turn the nation’s fortunes around should be elected into office.
The bank, while admitting that it does not have the mandate to directly influence the electoral process, wished that Nigerians would have the wisdom to choose those who would ensure value for every public spending. “If I were a Nigerian, I would look to vote for somebody who can be credible to me and say: I would translate the public resources that Nigeria has into results that are relevant for the people”, Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria said in an interview.
“Everything in Nigeria is about that question. Are the resources of the country being spent or invested in a way that builds the future for you and your children because it’s about the young people who need that future? That is the challenge of the country, and if the election would be a competition between politicians who would try to show how well they can spend money and deliver results, that would be absolutely great for the country”, Ruhl told BusinessDay. He noted that the 2011 elections would be defining for Nigeria as it could make or mar the nation’s quest to transit to an emerging economy, and warned that it would be in the best interest of the nation to ensure that the electoral process is credible.