Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The World Bank has approved a $961 million credit to help Nigeria return out-of-school children to the classrooms through the Kaduna State Economic Transformation Programme.
While $611 million was approved for the out-of-school programme, $350 million is for the Kaduna State Economic Transformation Programme.
In a statement, the Head of Communications, World Bank Country Office in Nigeria, Mrs. Olufunke Olufon, stated that investment in the two programmes was to support the federal and state authorities in their efforts to foster inclusion and revive growth in tandem with the federal governmentâ€™s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
â€œThe 611 million dollars to Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Programme aims to bring out-of-school children into the classroom, improve literacy, and strengthen accountability for results in basic education.
â€œIn 2013, 13.2 million school-age children were out of school; the overwhelming majority of which is in the North where out-of-school children rates are also higher among girls, in rural areas and from poor families,â€ she said.
â€œThe $350 million credit focuses on enhancing private sector investment in Kaduna State through improved business environment, effective budget planning and execution and fiscal accountability,â€ she said.
She quoted the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, as saying both operations implement results-based financing, whereby disbursement of funds is linked to the achievement of tangible, verifiable results.
According to Benmessaoud â€œas the 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) Programme.
â€œThis will be done through incentivising results at the state level and thereby reduce the number of out-of-school children by roughly one third by 2022.
â€œThe Kaduna State operation will support the stateâ€™s ambitious reform efforts to increase both private investments for job creation and revenue generation.
â€œIt will also strengthen budget performance and fiscal accountability through citizen engagement,â€ he said.