News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

World bank boosts Nigeria’s social projects with $961m

Out-of-School children to get World Banks’s aid

The World Bank has approved a credit of $961 million to support Nigeria in bringing back out-of-school children into the classrooms.

Out of the money, $350 million is for Kaduna State Economic Transformation Programme, which focuses on enhancing private sector investment in Kaduna State.

The Head of Communications, World Bank, Nigeria, Mrs Olufunke Olufon, said in Abuja on Wednesday that the gesture was to support the federal and state authorities in their efforts to foster inclusion and revive growth.

The investment in the two programmes, she explained was in alignment with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.

“The 611 million dollars to Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Programme aims to bring out-of-school children into the classroom, improve literacy, and strengthen accountability for results in basic education.

In 2013, she said, 13.2 million school-age children were out of school; the overwhelming majority of which is in the North where out-of-school children rates are also higher among girls, in rural areas and from poor families.

“The 350 million dollars credit focuses on enhancing private sector investment in Kaduna State through improved business environment, effective budget planning and execution and fiscal accountability,” she said.

She quoted the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, as saying both operations implement results-based financing, whereby disbursement of funds is linked to the achievement of tangible, verifiable results.

“As first phase for addressing out-of-school children in Nigeria, BESDA, aims to help enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the federal Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme.

“This will be done through incentivising results at the state level and thereby reduce the number of out-of-school children by roughly one third by 2022.

“The Kaduna State operation will support the state’s ambitious reform efforts to increase both private investments for job creation and revenue generation.

“It will also strengthen budget performance and fiscal accountability through citizen engagement,” he said.