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Stop Press! Nigeria Gets Fresh $700m World Bank Loan for Girls’ Empowerment

The World Bank has approved a fresh $700 million loan for Nigeria to enhance adolescent girls’ learning and empowerment.

It made this known in a statement published on its website on Friday.

The new loan will provide additional funds for an ongoing project known as the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment.

“The World Bank approved additional financing of $700m for Nigeria to scale up the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment programme, whose goal is to improve secondary education opportunities among girls in targeted states.

“The additional financing will scale up project activities from the current seven states to eleven additional states and increase the targeted beneficiaries to include out-of-school girls, those who are married, and those who have disabilities,” it said.

The bank noted that Nigeria had over 12 million to 15 million out-of-school children in the school-age group, with many of them in Northern Nigeria.

Accordingly, the World Bank added that an estimated one million children were affected by increased insecurity around schools in 2020-2021.

“In the seven AGILE programmes implementing states – Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau – the number of girls in secondary schools has increased from about 900,000 to over 1.6 million.

“Under the programme, over 5,000 classrooms have been renovated, and over 250,000 eligible girls have received scholarships.

“The AGILE programme has supported the construction and rehabilitation of WASH facilities in secondary schools and the installation of computers and solar panels, making attending school more convenient and conducive for girls and boys. Life skills, systems strengthening, and advocacy are other key aspects of the program which address social norms impeding girls’ education,” it added.

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, stated the importance of closing gender gaps by ensuring girls have access to education and skills.

“Closing the gender gaps in economic empowerment by ensuring girls have access to education and skills is key for Nigeria’s development and economic prosperity”, he said.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration got a $750 million loan from the World Bank on June 9, 2023, to boost Nigeria’s power sector.

Also, the government secured another $500 million loan from the World Bank to help Nigeria drive women’s empowerment, and it was approved on June 22, 2023.

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