By MARK ITSIBOR,
The World Bank has approved two Program-for-Results operations totalling $961 million to support the Nigerian federal and state authorities in their effort to foster inclusion and revive growth, in alignment with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government of Nigeria for 2017–2020.
The Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) Program-for-Results is a $611 million credit aiming to bring out-of-school children into the classroom, improve literacy, and strengthen accountability for results in basic education. In 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 form poor families.
The fund include a $350 million credit to Kaduna State Economic Transformation Program for Results, focuses on enhancing private sector investment in Kaduna State through improved business environment, effective budget planning and execution and fiscal accountability. Kaduna State has taken a number of reform actions to improve its economic performance and social outcomes and sustain this reform effort.
“Investing in human capital and creating economic opportunities for all are key areas of focus to achieve more inclusive and private-sector led growth. These two operations support the Government’s economic and growth recovery plan and will help Nigeria achieve sustainable and measurable results,” said World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Rachid Benmessaoud.
Both operations implement results-based financing, whereby disbursement of funds is linked to the achievement of tangible, verifiable results. As a 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) Programthrough incentivizing results at the state level and thereby reduce the number of out-of-school children by roughly one third by 2022.