World Bank job: Buhari approved my nomination- Zainab Ahmed


The former Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said former President Muhammadu Buhari approved her nomination to occupy Nigeria’s slot as Alternate Executive Director at the World Bank.

Uba Group

The former Minister’s claim came against the backdrop of sundry media reports that she was neither nominated by former President Buhari nor incumbent President Bola Tinubu for the job.

Reports had insinuated that she cleverly delayed to respond to the World Bank’s letter to Nigeria routed through her office requesting that Nigeria should forward a candidate to fill the vacant slot belonging to Nigeria.

According to the reports, three economists were to be forwarded out of which the World Bank would select the most appropriate using its rules and processes.

Whereas the reports did not emphasise the fact that the former minister was not an economist; she, being an accountant, reportedly recommended herself for the slot.

The World Bank, as indicated, was constrained to accept the nomination of Nigeria, bolstered by the fact of her being Nigeria’s Finance Minister ( now former).

This did not elicit much concern about her grasp of economic and financial issues, a forte that where she possesses some hands on experience.

But that was not essentially the drift of the media reports.

The point at issue was how she landed the job, which was open and up for grabs as far back as October 2022.

Her getting the job in June 2023 had insinuated her into a deliberate dilation of the process to lock down the job opening for her after office.

That took all of eight months to accomplish.

But in a riposte to a set of questions forwarded to the former minister through her media aide, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, she said her nomination was approved by the former president.

She said, “In the first instance, the World Bank is a reputable organization with its rules and processes.

“Secondly, anyone working at that level of Alternate Executive Director (AED) must be a representative of his or her country and would have gotten such approval and endorsement from his or her government. It will be recalled that the position became available in October 2022.

“Mr. President was notified and approval was gotten in April 2023, but with the understanding that Dr. Zainab Ahmed cannot report until after the end of her tenure as Minister.

“Therefore the former minister couldn’t have nominated herself and also approved such. I can therefore confirm to you that the former President approved her being the AED at the World Bank representing Nigeria.”