World Bank Approves $700m Loan For Nigeria

By Clement Alphonsus

A new $700m loan has been approved by the World Bank for Nigeria to enhance adolescent girls’ learning and empowerment.

A statement published on its website revealed this on Friday.

According to the statement, “The World Bank approved additional financing of $700m for Nigeria to scale up the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment programme whose goal is to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted states.

“The additional financing will scale up project activities from the current seven states to eleven additional states and increase the targeted beneficiaries to include out-of-school girls, those who are married, and those who have disabilities.”

Also, It said that Nigeria had over 12 million to 15 million out of school children in the school- age group, with many of them in Northern Nigeria.

It added, “In the seven AGILE programme implementing states – Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau – the number of girls in secondary schools has increased from about 900,000 to over 1.6 million.

“Under the programme, over 5,000 classrooms have been renovated and over 250,000 eligible girls have received scholarships.

“The AGILE programme has supported construction and rehabilitation of WASH facilities in secondary schools and the installation of computers and solar panels which make attending school more convenient and conducive for both girls and boys. Life skills, systems strengthening, and advocacy are other key aspects of the program which address social norms impeding girls’ education.”

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, also explained that, “Closing the gender gaps in economic empowerment by ensuring girls have access to education and skills is key for Nigeria’s development and economic prosperity.

“Nigeria’s working population will soon be one of the youngest and largest around the world, which means that investing in adolescent girls is imperative when addressing overall economic prospects and growth.”

In the statement, aside from the girls that would benefit from the financing, others included over 15 million students and beneficiaries, such as teachers, administrators, families, communities, and staff in existing and newly constructed schools.

It was earlier reported that the parents and caregivers of about 300,000 poor female students got N10,000 per term in six states through the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment Programme.

The six states were Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Plateau.

The World Bank agreed that N10,000 per term was given to the parents of poor female students for school attendance and re-enrollment.

It further disclosed that N5,000 was provided to each girl’s parent upon registration in the program.