As part of efforts to wipe out poverty and insurgency in the country, a World Bank-funded Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA) in Nigeria has disclosed that the bank has provided about $320 million credit to assist the poor and vulnerable groups in the country.
The Task Leader Team of CSDA in Nigeria, Prof. Foluso Okunmadewa disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara state capital during the recent meeting of all the 36 states’ coordinators of CSDA in the country.
The meeting was convened to adopt documents on vulnerable groups’ operational manual programmes of the agency.
According to Okunmadewa, “the bank late last year, also approved addition $75 million for the North-east region for resettlement of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) caused by insurgency in the region”.
The CSDA’s team leader said the project has gotten the support and endorsement of almost all the governors in the federation, noting that they “have all put the structures, mechanisms in place to be able to access the funds.”
He said, “As at about seven years ago a credit of $200 million was provided by the World Bank to the government of Nigeria and was used up until 2015 by 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). And this was exhausted and the then Federal Government requested for additional financing of $140 million.
“It was provided and became effective in 2016. All the 26 states that were in the original project are now active in this new additional financing of $140 million. All the states have established agencies and are moving into the communities to do all the micro projects that the communities have put forward.
“I must say that as a result of the insurgency in the North-east and the desire by the federal government and the states in the region to have some more funds that can help in the resettlement and recovery of livelihood of people back in the rural areas. An additional request of $75 million was made by the federal government to the World Bank to put resources into this kind of project that seems appropriate to be used by these people as they go back.
“The $75 million was approved by the World Bank and Federal executive council was provided late last year. It will become effective any moment from now. This additional $75 million is really dedicated to the North-east and it will free more resources for the $140 million for the other states. If the other states were hoping before for instance, that they will have between six and seven million dollars from the $140 million, they can now have more funds.”
Okunmadewa added that “the project is one of the flagships of the World Bank in Nigeria. It is one of the projects that have achieved a lot of results and it has helped development in rural areas for poor and vulnerable groups in the country in the last couple of years.
“We were thinking that a state like Kwara noted to be very active and effective in the use of this mechanism, will benefit a lot from these resources and even more from this extra window that will be opened. This is a window that will provide resources for the vulnerable groups.”
Also in his remark, the National Coordinator of CSDA, Dr. Sam Obaje said the agency had been working round the clock to address the social services in the various communities in the country.
This, according to him, was due to the provision of funds through the World Bank. He therefore assured that the agency would not relent in its efforts at adding values to the socio wellbeing of the populace.