The World Bank has announced the approval of $2.1bn loan for seven projects to be executed in Nigeria.

A statement issued in Abuja on Thursday said the loans were approved in Washington DC on Wednesday and were for seven projects to support Nigeria’s investment in nutrition, access to electricity, states’ fiscal transparency, polio eradication, women’s economic empowerment, public finance and national statistics, and reducing vulnerability to soil erosion.

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud, was quoted to have said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies human capital investment, restoring growth and building a competitive economy as its key pillars.

“This vision for a healthy, educated, productive and resilient population must be complemented by credible governance in order to attract private sector participation and ensure sustainable growth. The approved projects support the implementation of the government’s growth plan.”

According to the statement, the World Bank Group has extended its Country Partnership Strategy for Nigeria until June 30, 2019.

During the period 2018 and 2019, its support is expected to focus on revenue diversification and mobilisation, addressing the binding constraints for attracting private financing, and improving social services delivery for building the human capital needed for inclusive economic growth, in alignment with the ERGP.

Growth rates in Nigeria have bounced back since the third quarter of 2016, when a recession, its first in 25 years, bottomed out. Growth returned largely due to higher oil prices, with the country relying on crude sales for much of its revenue.

However, growth slowed again in the first quarter of 2018, as the country’s non-oil sector struggled. The government expects growth to rise to a pre-recession level of 7 percent by 2020.

The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project is expected to promote innovative integrated approaches based on international best practices and community participation to tackle land degradation and major gully erosion formations in participating states. The project will receive IDA additional financing credit of $400m.

The Nigeria Electrification Project will leverage private sector investments in solar mini-grids and stand-alone solar systems to provide electricity to 2.5 million people and 70,000 micro, small and medium enterprises.

The project would also provide publicly-funded reliable electricity to seven universities and two teaching hospitals. It will be financed through an IDA credit of $350m.

The Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria Project is expected to benefit over 8.7 million people, mostly pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls and children below five years old. The financing for the project consists of an IDA credit of $225m and a Global Financing Facility grant of $7m.

The Nigeria Polio Eradication Support Project is expected to help improve immunisation coverage with oral vaccines to the national target of 85 per cent in 18 months. It is receiving IDA additional financing credit of $150m.

The Nigeria for Women Project is expected to directly impact 324,000 women beneficiaries through investments in comprehensive skills training, the leverage of financial and technical resources, and support to policy dialogue on women’s economic empowerment. The project is receiving an IDA credit of $100m.



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