Everest Amaefule, Abuja
The World Bank Group has announced the approval of $57bn for Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries for the next three years.
A statement issued by the bank in Abuja on Monday said the World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, made the announcement before leaving for a trip to Rwanda and Tanzania to emphasise its support for the entire region.
The announcement, which followed a meeting with G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, said the fund would be used to scale up investments and de-risk private sector participation for accelerated growth and development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It was not clear as of press time how much Nigeria would benefit from the loan but the Senior Communications Officer for the World Bank in Nigeria, Olufunke Olufon, told our correspondent on the telephone that only the Ministry of Finance could give the details.
The bulk of the financing, $45bn, will come from the International Development Association, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.
The financing for Sub-Saharan Africa will also include an estimated $8bn in private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation, a private sector arm of the group, and $4bn in financing from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, its non-concessional public sector arm.
The bank said in December 2016, development partners agreed to a record $75bn for the IDA, a dramatic increase based on an innovative move to blend donor contributions to the IDA with World Bank Group’s internal resources, and with funds raised through capital markets.
Sixty per cent of the IDA financing is expected to go to sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than half of the countries eligible for the financing. This funding is available for the period known as IDA18, which runs from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020.
Kim said, “This represents an unprecedented opportunity to change the development trajectory of the countries in the region.
“With this commitment, we will work with our clients to substantially expand programmes in education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate, infrastructure, and institutional reform.
“This financing will help African countries continue to grow, create opportunities for their citizens, and build resilience to shocks and crises.”
The IDA financing for operations in Africa will be critical to addressing roadblocks that prevent the region from reaching its potential, the bank said.
To support countries’ development priorities, scaled-up investments will focus on tackling conflict, fragility, and violence; building resilience to crises, including forced displacement, climate change, and pandemics; and reducing gender inequality, it added.
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Source: punchng.com =>World Bank approves bn for Nigeria, others