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Former Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, Secures World Bank Appointment Amid Controversy

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In a surprising turn of events, Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has been appointed as an Alternate Executive Director (AED) at the World Bank Group’s headquarters in Washington D.C., United States. The appointment has garnered attention due to allegations of bypassing due process, which Ahmed vehemently denies.

Former Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, Secures World Bank Appointment

According to an online platform that cited Washington sources, it was claimed that Ahmed had unilaterally nominated herself for the position without the approval of both the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari and the incoming Mr. Bola Tinubu. The platform further alleged that the World Bank Group had previously requested the CVs of three economists from the Nigerian government to fill the vacant AED position, but the Minister of Finance at the time allegedly concealed the letter, thereby excluding the government’s input in the nomination process.

Responding to these allegations, Ahmed dismissed the claims as false, stating, “The report about not following due process is false. Mr. President approved the nomination. This was conveyed to the bank.” Her media adviser, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, also confirmed Buhari’s endorsement of Zainab Ahmed’s appointment in April 2023.

Abdullahi emphasized the World Bank’s reputation and its adherence to rules and processes. He further explained that anyone working at the AED level must be a representative of their country and would require approval and endorsement from their government. The AED position became available in October 2022, and the approval for Zainab Ahmed’s appointment was obtained in April 2023. However, she was unable to assume the role until after her tenure as minister concluded.

The controversy surrounding Zainab Ahmed’s appointment raises questions about transparency and accountability in the nomination process for such crucial international positions. As a representative of Nigeria at the World Bank, Ahmed’s role holds significance, and it is imperative that the process by which such appointments are made adheres to proper protocols.

While the allegations of bypassing due process cast a shadow over Ahmed’s appointment, her supporters argue that her vast experience and expertise in finance make her a suitable candidate for the position. As Nigeria grapples with economic challenges and strives for development, having a representative at the World Bank can provide valuable insights and opportunities for the country.

The World Bank plays a pivotal role in global development efforts, and the appointment of an experienced individual like Zainab Ahmed brings both opportunities and responsibilities. As she assumes her new role as an Alternate Executive Director, Zainab Ahmed will have the opportunity to advocate for Nigeria’s interests and contribute to shaping global economic policies.

It remains to be seen how the controversy surrounding Zainab Ahmed’s appointment will unfold and whether any further investigations or clarifications will be pursued. Nonetheless, her selection as an Alternate Executive Director at the World Bank marks a significant milestone in her career and opens doors for her to influence important decisions at the international level.

As Nigerians await Ahmed’s assumption of her new role on July 10, it is hoped that the focus will shift towards leveraging her expertise to benefit Nigeria’s economic growth and development, ultimately creating positive change for the country and its citizens.

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