Vice President Africa Region, Obiageli Ezekwesili
By John Ogunsemore
The new World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, has formally assumed office.
The French national, whose appointment was effective since last September 1, joined the World Bank in August 1994, as a Public Enterprise Specialist in the West and Central Africa Industry & Energy Operations Department.
In a statement announcing her appointment last August 3, the Vice President Africa Region, Obiageli Ezekwesili, said her responsibilities would consist, among others, of supporting the Gover
nment's development priorities including education, power, and trade and regional integration.
“Marie Françoise Mari-Nelly will also work with the Government of Nigeria to further consolidate macroeconomic gains by improving budget allocation and the quality of public spending as well as lead and support staff in implementing the priorities of the new Africa Strategy while adjusting to corporate realities and opportunities,” Ezekwesili added
Marie Nelly is expected to lead efforts by the Bank’s country team in Nigeria to sharpen the impact of World Bank-funded development programs in the country.
The World Bank portfolio in Nigeria consists of 26 International Development Association (IDA) projects covering infrastructure, agriculture, human development and governance.
Marie Nelly takes over from Onno Ruhl, who has since returned to and resumed in another position at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. She has held various positions in the Bank, her most recent assignment being Country Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo.
Prior to assuming this position, she served as Country Director for the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she helped deliver the largest debt relief package in the history of the HIPC initiative ($12.3 billion for DR Congo).
A French citizen, Ms. Marie-Nelly joined the World Bank in 1994 after working in Europe and Africa for 13 years in various capacities, both in government and in the private sector.