By UANGBAOJE ALEX, Kaduna
The World Bank has appointed Muhammad Abdullahi, Kaduna State Commissioner for Planning and Budget, as a member of its Expert Advisory Council on citizen engagement.
The announcement, posted on the bank’s website notes that Abdullahi, a Development Economist, will join five new appointees on the council.
Abdullahi along with the other appointees would advise on development and implementation of a strategic framework for mainstreaming citizen engagement in World Bank Group operations.
The council has representatives from civil society, academia, private sector, government, development partners and foundations from across the world, in which Abdullahi was nominated under the Government Category.
The World Bank explained that Abdullahi, who leads the Kaduna State broad economic growth and development portfolio, has over a decade of experience in development policy formulation, public finance and project implementation.
“As the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Abdullahi, a member of the State Executive Council is responsible for designing the fiscal strategy and coordinating the implementation and monitoring of the state budget.
“He initiated the development of Kaduna Citizens Feedback Application and citizens call centre to ensure that citizens directly monitor budget implementation as well inform government of their priorities.
“Abdullahi also facilitated budget town hall meetings to get citizens feedback, while leading civil society consultations, engagement and coordination on all state planning and budget activities.
“Prior to his appointment as a commissioner in the state, he was a Policy Adviser in the Executive Office of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and a member of the Secretary General’s core team working on Sustainable Development Goals.”
Abdullahi, who confirmed the appointment on Thursday, described the development as a rear privilege.
According to him, this is the first time a Nigerian would be appointed as a member in the council, adding that it is usually ministers of national government that are appointed under the Government category not state commissioners.
“I received a call from the Bank Wednesday night informing me of the appointment, which would last for a year or so.
“It is really a boost to Kaduna State citizen engagement efforts and Nigeria as a whole.”
Others appointed into the council include, Tonye Cole, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Sahara Group, Africa, representing the Private Sector, Flavia Milano, Civil Society Specialist, Vice Presidency for Countries, Inter-American Development Bank.
Also, Helena Bjuremalm, Senior Advisor on Civil Society Support and Engagement, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) Civil Society Unit, appointed to represent Development Partners, while Emily Martinez, Director, Human Rights Initiative, Open Society Foundations, will represent Foundations.