World Bank approves $700m Loan for Nigeria

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A new $700 million loan from the World Bank has been granted for Nigeria in order to improve the education and empowerment of teenage females.

World Bank revealed this in a statement posted on its website on Friday.

The Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment, an ongoing project, will also additional funding from the new loan.

According to the statement, “The World Bank approved additional financing of $700m for Nigeria to scale up the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment programme whose goal is to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted states.

“The additional financing will scale up project activities from the current seven states to eleven additional states and increase the targeted beneficiaries to include out-of-school girls, those who are married, and those who have disabilities.”

It was stated that Nigeria has between 12 and 15 million school-age children who were not enrolled in classes, with a large number of them living in the north.

It was also mentioned that a million kids, on average, were impacted by heightened insecurity near schools in 2020–2021.

The statement further revealed that: “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 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.”

However, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, opined that, “Closing the gender gaps in economic empowerment by ensuring girls have access to education and skills is key for Nigeria’s development and economic prosperity.

“Nigeria’s working population will soon be one of the youngest and largest around the world, which means that investing in adolescent girls is imperative when addressing overall economic prospects and growth.”

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