World Bank Approves Fresh $700m Loan to Nigeria

World Bank Approves Fresh $700m Loan to Nigeria

The World Bank has approved a new $700 million loan to support education and empowerment initiatives for adolescent girls in Nigeria.

The loan will be used to scale up the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) program, which is currently being implemented in seven states.

The additional funding will expand the program to 11 other states and reach more out-of-school girls, married girls, and girls with disabilities.

Nigeria has a large number of out-of-school children, with estimates ranging from 12 million to 15 million. Many of these children are concentrated in Northern Nigeria. In addition, an estimated one million children were affected by increased insecurity around schools in 2020-2021.

The AGILE program has been successful in increasing the number of girls in secondary schools in the seven implementing states. Under the program, over 5,000 classrooms have been renovated, and over 250,000 eligible girls have received scholarships.

The statement 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 the 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, stated that investing in adolescent girls is imperative for Nigeria’s development and economic prosperity. He added that the additional financing will benefit more than 15 million students and other beneficiaries, including teachers, administrators, families, communities, and staff in existing and newly established schools.

The new loan is the third that the World Bank has approved under the administration of Bola Tinubu. The first loan was for $750 million to boost Nigeria’s power sector, and the second was for $500 million to support women’s empowerment.

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