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The World Bank has advised President Muhammad Buhari’s administration to strengthen the education system and ensure transparency in Nigeria.

The President, David Malpass, gave the counsel at the 2020 Annual Meetings press conference. He spoke while stating the position of the World Bank regarding human capital in Africa, Nigeria in particular.

“We have an enormous youth population with rising unemployment, and now an added coronavirus concern. Do you see a problem or opportunity” a journalist asked.

In response, Malpass said he sees many problems.

“It’s harder to see the opportunities; this is a bad thing that happened to the world and particularly to poor people in the world because there’s not an evident solution.

“As I discussed earlier, the K-shaped recovery is a daunting challenge, because of the inequality that is expressed in that kind of outlook.

“For Nigeria, the vital steps are to strengthen the health system and the education system, and we try to work in those areas.

“Also, the governance system and transparency are vital in order to reduce the corruption within the system.”

Malpass commended Nigeria for tackling the problem of subsidies in the hydrocarbon area. He stressed that there are substantial benefits by reducing subsidies and allowing gasoline prices to rise.

“It means that there are fiscal savings. It also means there are environmental benefits that are large, and it also allows markets to work better and to allocate resources better.”

The World Bank chief added that he believes progress is being made in the area and that it’s valuable. On the question of opportunities, the institution urged countries to think about where they want to be in a post-COVID world that’s going to be very different from the pre-COVID-19 world.

“That means a different way of people interacting, hopefully better; a greener way of operating; and an emphasis on health care.

“I mentioned earlier that we’ve extended the emergency health response to include vaccines and distribution of vaccines for COVID-19, but it also has the benefit of helping the vaccination programs in other areas and the healthcare outreach in other areas that will be so valuable”, Malpass said.

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