By Kuni Tyessi
A multi-donor funding agenct for interventions in basic education in poor and developing countries, the Global Partnership for Education,(GPE), has extended a grant of $125 million to Nigeria to support the development of basic education.
This was revealed in Abuja when the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, received a delegation from the GPE on a working visit.
In a statement signed by the Deputy Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Ben Bem Goong, the minister disclosed that the aim of the grant, a product of Nigeria’s Partnership for Education Project (NIPEP), is to improve access and quality of basic education in the country, with particular focus on the girl-child.
He said: “Disclosing that this is not the first time the country is getting such grant, Adamu Adamu acknowledged that the Nigerian government received a grant of $100 million from the funding agent in 2015 to help improve the quality of education in some states in the North-western region of the country.
“According to the minister, the benefitting states, under the $100 million grant, were Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto States. The states billed to benefit from the current grant are Oyo, Adamawa and Katsina States.
“The minister, who stated that preparations are ongoing to access the grant before its deadline of June 2020, expressed delight at the opportunity to strengthen the country’s drive to improve its educational standard.”
In his remarks, the leader of the delegation, Sven Baeten, said the visit was necessitated by his organisation’s interest in the educational development of the country.
In addition to the $125 million, Baeten disclosed that there is another $20 million grant to be made available to countries with ‘education emergency issues’, adding however that the requirements for accessing the grants such as institutional arrangements with clear cut checks and balances, among others, must be fulfilled before Nigeria can access its own share.
Sven, who expressed the willingness of his organisation to help Nigeria access the grant, also urged the federal government to step up efforts to access the grants as there are other countries with similar challenges.