World Bank to support Nigeria on human capital, energy, others

The World Bank approved today seven projects to support Nigeria’s investment in nutrition, access to electricity, states’ fiscal transparency, polio eradication, women’s economic empowerment, public finance and national statistics and reducing vulnerability to soil erosion.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies human capital investment, restoring growth, and building a competitive economy as its key pillars,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria. “This vision for a healthy, educated, productive and resilient population must be complimented by credible governance in order to attract private sector participation and ensure sustainable growth. The approved projects support the implementation of the Government’s growth plan.”

The World Bank Group (WBG) has extended its Country Partnership Strategy for Nigeria until June 30, 2019. During FY2018 and FY2019, the WBG support will focus on revenue diversification and mobilization, addressing the binding constraints for attracting private financing, and improving social services delivery for building the human capital needed for inclusive economic growth, in alignment with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

The approved program of support in FY18 comprises the following projects:

The State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Project will help increase efficiency in spending, strengthen revenue mobilization (of critical importance for the delivery of health, education, water and other services) and debt sustainability in participating states. Strengthened fiscal transparency will help build trust in government, enhance the monitoring of fiscal risks and facilitate accountability in public resource management. The project is financed through an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $750 million.

The Fiscal Governance and Institutions Project will improve the credibility of public finance and national statistics in the country. Fiscal governance is a key foundation for all other public-sector reforms. The project will help increase revenue and capital expenditure outturn, strengthen fiscal accountability including for expenditure effectiveness and to improve the quality of statistical information which would contribute to evidence-based policy making. This is financed through an IDA credit of $125 million.

The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project will promote innovative, integrated approaches based on international best practices and community participation to tackle land degradation and major gully erosion formations in participating states. This project will support Nigeria in building its climate resilience and meeting her National Determined Contributions and will scale up the issuance of Green Bonds to leverage more financing for sustainable development. This is Additional Financing is an IDA credit of $400 million.

The Nigeria Electrification Project will leverage private sector investments in solar mini grids and standalone solar systems to provide electricity to 2.5 million people and 70,000 micro, small and medium enterprises. It will also provide publicly-funded reliable electricity to seven universities and two teaching hospitals. Further, the project will support the development of a sustainable framework for expanding electricity access in Nigeria over the long term. This is financed through an IDA credit of $350 million.

The Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria Project will benefit over 8.7 million people, mostly pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls and children below 5 years old. As the first dedicated large investment in Nigeria on nutrition-specific interventions and outcomes, the project will contribute to reducing chronic malnutrition, maternal and child mortality rates, improved school completion and performance, and consequently, enhanced labor force productivity and economic growth in Nigeria. The financing for this project consists of an IDA credit of $225 million and a Global Financing Facility grant of $7 million.

The Nigeria Polio Eradication Support Project will help improve immunization coverage with oral vaccines to the national target of 85 percent in 18 months. Improving routine immunization coverage is critical to improving child health and reducing infant mortality. This is Additional Financing is an IDA credit of $150 million.

The Nigeria for Women Project will directly impact 324,000 women beneficiaries through investments in comprehensive skills training, the leverage of financial and technical resources, and support to policy dialogue on women’s economic empowerment. This first World Bank-assisted standalone gender operation in Nigeria will also create and strengthen Women Affinity Groups to facilitate social networks and increase women’s voice and participation in the economy. This is financed through an IDA credit of $100 million.