The World Bank is to spend US$ 5 billion in the next five years on 27 projects across Nigeria, according to the Country Director of the Bank, Ms Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly.
The private Guardian Newspaper Wednesday quoted the World Bank chief as saying in Lagos that 60 per cent of the total amount would be spent on sustainable development projects, including infrastructure, construction and rehabilitation, energy, water and agriculture.
“On the average, we are providing money in the range of US$ 1.3 billion to US$ 1.5 billion in a year and what we have now is a stock of projects,” she was quoted by the Newspaper as saying.
She added that Human capital development would take about 40 per cent of the amount, adding that this would significantly impact on primary healthcare and help to improve the situation in the sector, especially polio eradication.
The country director gave the assurance that the bank would continue to help in strengthening government institutions and private sector development.
On youth empowerment, she said the bank had budgeted US$ 300 million for the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) scheme in Nigeria.
“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 added.
Meanwhile, the Newspaper also reported that the African Development Bank (AfDB) has sealed a pact to provide two sovereign-guaranteed multi-tranche lines of credits (LoCs) of US$ 500 million to the Bank of Industry (BOI).
Out of this amount, US$ 200 million is to be given to the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM). It would be used to support export-oriented Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) modernisation and expansion.
Through this integrated financing package, the AfDB is supporting Nigeria’s efforts towards a more diversified economy away from oil and gas.
The LoCs will supply multi-sector financing to address the challenge that SMEs face in accessing finance in the country.
With this development, export-oriented SMEs will be able to become more competitive, ensure sustainable growth of their operations and generate employment in the Nigerian productive sectors.