The World Bank has confirmed it would provide $961 million as credit facility to support attempts by the Nigerian government to bring out-of-school children back into the classroom.Out of the money, $350 million is for the Kaduna State Economic Transformation Programme, which focuses on enhancing private sector investment in the state, Head of Communications at the World Bank’s offices in Nigeria, Mrs Olufunke Olufon, said.
Speaking on Wednesday, Ms. Olufon said their main objective is to foster inclusion and revive growth in the education sector at federal, state and local level, ensuring that children of school-going age are provided with the means and encouragement to be in school.
The world Bank’s investment in the programme, she explained was in tandem with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the federal government of Nigeria which had decried the whopping number of children that are out of school.
“The $611 million to the 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” she explained.
According to the World Bank 2013 figures suggest that at least 13.2 million children of school-going age were out of school, the overwhelming majority of them in the north of Nigeria.
Northern Nigeria has the highest rate of out-of-school girls mostly from poor families in rural areas.
The World Bank said $350 million of the credit facility will focus on enhancing private sector investment in Kaduna State through improved business environment, effective budget planning and execution and fiscal accountability.
The disbursement of the funds will be linked to the achievement of tangible, verifiable results.