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Ex finance minister clarifies World Bank appointment ‘without presidential approval’

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The immediate past Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has denied reports making rounds that she cunningly secured a World Bank job without the approval of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

An online medium over the weekend published a report alleging that the former finance minister bypassed the federal government’s nomination for the vacant position of Alternate Executive Director at the World Bank and nominated herself for the top job.

The online report stated that “The World Bank Group months ago wrote a letter to the government of Nigeria requesting for the CVs of at least three economists to fill a vacant position of the AED.

“The letter was passed through the Office of the Minister of Finance who hid the letter, thereby denying the federal government input into the nomination process.”

The online news medium further stated that it had obtained a copy of the letter, which showed it was written months ago by the World Bank shortly before the expiration of the Buhari-led federal government.

It added that Mrs. Ahmed nominated herself as the federal government’s candidate without the approval of the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari and the incoming President Bola Tinubu.

However, in a clarification sent to Daily Trust, the Media Adviser to the former minister, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi faulted the report, saying it was meddled with falsehood.

Abdullahi said former President Muhammadu Buhari was duly notified and endorsed her appointment to the World Bank, which contradicts the online report.

“The World Bank is a reputable organisation 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,” he said.

On who granted the approval, Abdullahi further stated that “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

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