NIGERIA has secured an additional $700 million loan from the World Bank to boost adolescent girls learning and empowerment.
According to the Bank, the loan supports the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment programme among girls in some 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,” said the organisation.
Checks by The ICIR showed that the loan was the third Nigeria secured from the Bank since President Bola Tinubu assumed office on May 29, 2023. This puts the total loan granted by the Bank to Nigeria at $1.95 billion between June and September 2023.
Meanwhile, data from the Debt Management Office showed that Nigeria has an outstanding external debt of $14.51 billion to the World Bank as of the second quarter of 2023.
$700 million AGILE loan
The $700 million loan allocated to Nigeria seeks to expand the AGILE projects to eleven states, thereby accommodating more out-of-school children, which had increased due to recurring insecurity crises, especially in the country’s Northern region, the World Bank noted.
The Bank said the AGILE programme had been implemented in seven states, increasing the number of secondary school girls from 900,000 to 1.6 million. These states are Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau.
World Bank said, “Under the programme, over 5,000 classrooms have been renovated, and over 250,000 eligible girls have received scholarships. The AGILE programme has supported the construction and rehabilitation of WASH facilities in secondary schools and the installation of computers and solar panels, making attending school more convenient and conducive for girls and boys. Life skills, systems strengthening, and advocacy are other key aspects of the programme which address social norms impeding girls’ education.”
$750 million loan for power projects
In June, the international financial institution approved the first loan of $750 million for Nigeria under President Bola Tinubu’s government to boost the country’s power sector through the Power Sector Recovery Performance-Based Operation.
The loan is financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which would provide $449 million, and the International Development Association would provide $301 million.
The Bank said, “Nigeria has the world’s largest absolute electricity access deficit. Lack of access to the electricity grid affects 45 per cent of the population (90 million people), making Nigeria the country with the largest number of people not connected to electricity. As such, Nigeria accounts for 12 per cent of the global access deficit.”
$500 million for women’s empowerment
Some days later, the Bank approved a $500 million loan to address women’s economic empowerment issues under the Nigeria for Women Program Scale Up (NFWP-SU).
According to the bank, the loan would help women improve women’s livelihoods, ensure better economic opportunities, education, and health and build women’s communities’ resilience to climate change.
The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said, “We have seen promising outcomes from the parent NFWP, which has helped to create economic opportunities for thousands of rural women through the Women Affinity Groups. NFWP’s model is helping to improve livelihood opportunities for women, enhancing their capacity to adapt to climate change and participating in local administrations for policymaking related to community empowerment.”
Meanwhile, The ICIR reported how Nigeria’s indebtedness to the World Bank grew from $6.29 billion in 2015 to $13.46 billion in 2022. Also, the country’s public debt stock rose to N87.4 trillion in the second quarter of 2023, putting every Nigerian debt per capita at N396,376.19.