5 things you need to know about the new World Bank Country Director for Nigeria

Rachid Benmessaoud, a renowned World Bank official, is the organisation’s new Country Director for Nigeria. He takes over the position from Marie Francois Marie-Nelly, who left office in July, 2015. According to the statement released in Abuja by the World Bank on his appointment, Benmessaoud will lead the country’s programme and team in improving the World Bank’s portfolio in Nigeria. He will also support the government’s development priorities, which include power, education, quality of public spending, trade, and help coordinate regional integration.

As a country director, his role is to oversee, and take over all responsibility for, the operations of the bank in the country on strategic, operational, and personnel levels, especially in terms of finance and budget preparations. This involves both a strong strategic outlook and the efficient co-ordination of day-to-day affairs, which Benmessaoud certainly possesses. But, just before his appointment goes into effect on October 1, here are some of the things that you need to know about Nigeria’s latest World Bank Country Director.

He is African
Rachid Benmessaoud is a Moroccan national.

He has been with the bank for 25 years
Benmessaoud joined the bank in 1990 as an Energy Planner in the Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa Vice Presidency. Since then, he has worked on energy infrastructure and municipal finance projects in all the aforementioned continents including South Asia.

He is well-versed
Benmessaoud has held previous positions in the World Bank, which prove how much of an asset he is. The positions include Lead Energy Specialist and Operations Advisor.

He’s been a Country Director before
In 2010, Benmessaoud became the Country Director for Pakistan, which was his most recent assignment before the Nigeria appointment. He was the Operations Advisor for India before that.

He has an interesting academic background
The World Bank official studied Electrical engineering, has a Doctorate-Engineering degree (from France), and a Masters’ in Business Administration (from the USA).

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