Lagos, January 16, 2005— Mr. Peter Woicke,
World Bank Managing Director and Executive Vice President of the International
Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will
visit Nigeria on January 16-18, 2005.
Mr. Woicke will meet with government representatives, Nigerian companies,
and IFC clients. Mr. Woicke will, on January 17, also give the key
note address at the First Business Roundtable with the government of Nigeria,
an event organized by the Economist Group.
Nigeria represents IFC’s largest country portfolio in Sub-Saharan Africa,
with a total country exposure of $290 million.
New investments already committed this fiscal year include: a $35 million
follow-up investment in MTN, Nigeria’s leading mobile telecommunications
company, which will complement IFC’s $100 million investment last year;
and a $1.89 million investment for a 12.6 percent equity stake in ACCION
Microfinance Limited, a new microfinance institution in which IFC will
be investing alongside a number of major Nigerian financial institutions
and ACCION Investments in Microfinance. The project will be managed by
ACCION International, one of the world's leading microfinance pioneers,
and is expected to begin operations during the first quarter of 2005.
Other IFC initiatives in Nigeria include:
in Process: IFC is working on potential investments in a number
of sectors, including building materials, oil production and services,
financial markets, and retail.
IFC has recently entered into an agreement with the federal government
of Nigeria to help review of the airport system in Nigeria and the privatization
of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. This would support
the government's efforts to improve aviation services and develop
a regional air services hub in West Africa with a
private national carrier. IFC is also working on a number of initiatives
to assist in development of Nigeria’s electricity
sector. These include assisting entrepreneurs in developing individual
projects, assisting the government in its reform program,
and designing technical assistance programs to facilitate
the development of off-grid power in semiurban and rural areas. IFC
is also developing technical assistance programs
to facilitate the development of the financial sector.
Business School Network: IFC is developing pilot projects
to strengthen business schools in Sub-Saharan Africa by linking them with
their counterparts in developed countries.
The projects aim to build schools’ capacity to provide high-quality and
sustainable management training programs. One
of the first pilots is in Nigeria, with the Lagos Business School, and
focuses on building the capacity of the school’s new
entrepreneurship center to provide management
training for entrepreneurs and SME managers.
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.
In FY04, IFC committed 25 projects in 12 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa
region, for a total amount of $407 million. IFC’s committed portfolio
for the region as of June 30, 2004, totaled about $1.8 billion.