Ndiame Diop becomes Nigeria’s World Bank Country Director after Shuham Chaudri

Ndiame Diop resumed office yesterday as the new World Bank country director after
Shubham Chaudri, the man that occupied the office since 2019 left last month. This is the
second time in under a year that the Bretton Woods institution are changing their leadership
in Nigeria. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) replaced Ari Aisen as its country
representative in October 2023 with Christian Ebeke. It is also the first time that the two
positions are occupied by Africans. Ndiame Diop, the new country director for the World
Bank is a Senegalese national while Christian Ebeke is a Cameroonian.
Shubham Chaudri before he left was perhaps the most visible World Bank country
director, at least since the Victoria Kwakwa. Under his leadership, the World Bank portfolio in
Nigeria expanded significantly, with about 30 projects and programmes approved under his
leadership. Some of the programmes / projects include the recent combined US $2.25 billion
for reforms for economic stabilization to enable transformation (RESET) development policy
financing programme (DPF) for US $1.5 billion, and the US $750 million for the Nigeria
accelerating resource mobilization reforms (ARMOR) programme for results (PforR). Indeed,
under Chaudri leadership in Nigeria, the World Bank approved an estimated US $19 billion
for about 30 projects in the country between 2019 and 2024.
Nonetheless, Nigerians will not easily forget the US $1.5 billion that was not
approved for the Nigerian government as budget support in 2020, following the Bank’s policy
credibility concerns. At the time, sources close to the Bank said, ““There is skepticism about
the commitment to structural reform. They are trying to ensure the reforms started are
followed through and the commitment is credible. Therefore, unless the i’s are dotted and
the t’s are crossed, the fund will not be released.” At the time, the focus of the credibility
concerns by the Bank were the multiple exchange rates, and fuel subsidy. The reason the
government was able to access the funds four years after is because it has now adopted a
single exchange rate market and removed fuel subsidies June 2023.
Diop arrives in Nigeria with similar credentials to Chaudri. According to the statement
released by the Bank, he “served as the World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia,
Philippines, and Thailand, based in Manila. In this position, he more tripled the Bank’s
financing to the Philippines to scale up the Bank’s support to key economic reforms (policy

based budget support programme) and the nation’s endeavour to bridge disparities in
various sectors, including nutrition, stunting, healthcare, social protection delivery, education,
agriculture, and digital connection.

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