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Ajay Banga to replace World Bank’s Malpass as president, after Nigeria failed to submit nominee



2019: World Bank predicts 2.2% GDP growth for Nigeria

The World Bank has announced that Indian-American business executive, Ajay Banga, will be appointed to replace David Malpass, the President of the global financial institution.

Banga, who is a former Mastercard Inc. Chief and currently serves as the vice chairman at General Atlantic, was selected for the position as he was the only nominee for the post, World Bank disclosed on Friday.

The United States nominated Banga, while Nigeria and the remaining 182 countries, which are members of the World Bank, didn’t provide any nominee.

In the past years, Nigeria has been a serious contender for the World Bank President seat, but the US nominees have often been chosen.

Recall that twice, Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had been tipped for the position. In 2012, she was nominated for the spot by the Nigerian government but lost to Jim Yong Kim, a nominee of the U.S.

In 2019, she showed interest to contest for the position again against Malpass, but the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari didn’t nominate her despite global expectations.

Okonjo-Iweala has criticised the process of choosing the President of the World Bank, stating that: “You know this thing is not really being decided on merit.”

She added that: “It is voting with political weight and shares, and therefore the United States will get it.”

Read also:World Bank projects 2.9% GDP growth for Nigeria’s economy

Although Okonjo-Iweala is now the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), following her nomination by the Buhari administration.

Malpass is the 13th President of the World Bank Group. He was appointed by the Board of Executive Directors on April 5, 2019. He will vacate the post in June, which is a year before the end of his term.

Commenting on the appointment of Banga, the World Bank said: “The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today confirmed that, as announced on February 22, the period for submitting nominations for the position of the next President of the World Bank Group closed on Wednesday at 6:00 pm ET.

“The board received one nomination and would like to announce that Ajay Banga, a U.S. national, will be considered for the position.

“In accordance with established procedures, the Board of Executive Directors will conduct a formal interview with the candidate in Washington D.C., and expect to conclude the presidential selection in due course.”

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