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Global partners help Nigeria boost education with $500m

By The Rainbow

Nigeria will benefit from a pool of $500m fund targeted at boosting educational development in the country, the former British Prime Minister, Mr. Gordon Brown, said on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, the fund will also serve as additional resources to support the development of the Universal Basic Education in Nigeria.

Brown, who spoke  at the meeting of the Coalition Interventions to support access and quality of education in Nigeria hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House in Abuja, said that Nigeria had provided 50 per cent of the fund.

He said, 'The Federal Government of Nigeria has made available $250m for investment in education. What we have managed to do by talking to the individual agencies over the last few days is to match that $250m by the additional $250m thus making possible new investment of $500m in education in Nigeria.'

A breakdown of the fund as stated by Brown indicated that Global Partnership for Education and the United States Agency for International Development, had agreed to contribute $100m every year, for the development of universal education.

Brown said the Federal Government in collaboration with state governments, had already provided $250m for the development of education in the country.

He added that the additional cash transfers would be for training, and the introduction of new technologies that would match the initiatives that had been attracted by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, from the business community.

He added that 'Nigeria stands to benefit from a seven-year term European Union grant that will be devoted to the development of education.

'I have talked to the head of the development commission for the European Union  and he said he would tell the government of Nigeria to submit an application from time to time for the next seven years, the term that will be devoted to education development in Nigeria.'

Brown added that he also sought further assistance on behalf of Nigeria from the head of Department for International Development, who according to him, said that he would be happy to entertain new application for private support of additional cash transfers from the individual states.

He also promised that he would visit Nigeria in January and would want to meet states that were interested in moving the new innovation forward.

Speaking on behalf of Jonathan on the occasion, Vice President Namadi Sambo, said that the Federal Government had identified access and quality 'as the two strategic goals for the four-year Strategic Plan for the Education Sector 2011-2015.'