30 January 2013

Nigeria: World Bank to Spend U.S.$5 Billion On 27 Projects

The World Bank on Tuesday said it would spend five billion dollars (about N785 billion) on 27 projects across the country in the next five years.

The Country Director, Ms Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, dropped the hint at a one-day "Job Shadow Workshop", organised by Junior Achievers Nigeria, a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO).

She said, "On the average, we are providing money in the range of 1.3 billion dollars to 1.5 billion dollars in a year and what we have now is a stock of projects."

Marie-Nelly said 60 per cent of the total amount would be spent on sustainable development projects, including infrastructure, construction and rehabilitation, energy, water and agriculture.

She said that human capital development, which was the second area of intervention, would take about 40 per cent of the amount.

This, she said, would significantly impact on primary healthcare and basically help to improve the situation in the sector, especially polio eradication.

"But what is interesting to know is that government has adopted a significant programme called "Saving one million lives".

The country director gave the assurance that the bank would continue to help in strengthening government institutions and private sector development.

"We also have three regional projects in the area of air transport, Niger River Basin in Niger state and the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Project, aimed at improving productivity in the agricultural sector and using the best techniques," she said.

On youth empowerment, she said that the bank had budgeted 300 million dollars for Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) scheme in Nigeria.

"We are preparing a Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) to support the provision of immediate work opportunities and skills development for unemployed youths and women from poor households," she stressed.

Earlier, Mrs. Franca Thomas, the National Programme Coordinator of the NGO, said that the workshop was to introduce students in secondary schools to career opportunities in public and private sectors of the economy.


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