By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA— The World Bank has approved a total of $961 million credit in support of the Federal Government Economic Recovery and Growth Programme, ERGP, and Kaduna State Economic Transformation Programme.
According to the bank, in a statement issued in Washington, yesterday, the Federal Government would receive $611 million credit to increase basic school enrolment, particularly targeting out-of-school children, who are mostly in northern Nigeria.
Similarly, Kaduna State would be given $350 million to improve on its economic transformation programme through which to improve business environment, effective budgeting and fiscal accountability.
The global body explained that the facility would aid the Nigerian authorities “in their effort to foster inclusion and revive growth, in alignment with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, of the Federal Government of Nigeria for 2017–2020.”
It said the Federal Government programme, entitled, “The Better Education Service Delivery for All, BESDA, Program-for-Results,” would improve literacy, and strengthen accountability for results in basic education.
The $350 million credit for Kaduna State would increase the rating of Kaduna State in its business environment as it was considered as having taken “a number of reform actions to improve its economic performance and social outcomes and sustain this reform effort.”
It has also been designed to support the state’s reform efforts to increase both private investments for job creation and revenue generation.
“Investing in human capital and creating economic opportunities for all are key areas of focus to achieve more inclusive and private-sector led growth.
“These two operations support the government’s economic and growth recovery plan and will help Nigeria achieve sustainable and measurable results,” Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, was quoted as commenting on the programmes.
Both operations implement results-based financing, whereby disbursement of funds is linked to the achievement of tangible, verifiable results.
As a 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) Program through incentivizing results at the state level and thereby reduce the number of out-of-school children by roughly one third by 2022.