The World Bank has announced the approval a $1.5 billion loan facility for Nigeria’s economic recovery programmes.The World Bank said in a statement on Tuesday that the facility was a five-year Country Partnership Framework (CPF) that will last from 2021 to 2024.
According to the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, the Country Partnership Framework will guide the Bank’s engagement for the next 5 years in supporting the Government of Nigeria’s strategic priorities by taking a phased and adaptive approach.
The statement explained that the World Bank Board of Directors approved the $1.5 billion for two projects, which include: Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus – Programme for Results (Nigeria CARES) and the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Program for Results (SFTAS).
It noted that the CPF will focus on four areas of engagement which include investing in human capital by increasing access to basic education, quality water, and sanitation services; improving primary healthcare; and increasing the coverage and effectiveness of social assistance programmes.
It will also promote jobs and economic transformation and diversification by supporting measures to unlock private investment and job creation and increasing access to reliable and sustainable power for households and firms.
The statement added that the CPF will also focus on boosting digital infrastructure, and developing economic corridors and smart cities, to provide Nigerians with improved livelihoods, strengthening the foundations of the public sector by improving public financial management and strengthening the social contract between citizens and government through improved fiscal and debt management.
According to the World Bank, Nigeria is at a critical juncture and needs the loan.
“With the sharp fall in oil prices as a result of COVID-19, the economy is projected to contract by over 4% in 2020, plunging the country into its deepest recession since the 1980s. Government revenues could fall by more than 15 billion dollars this year, and the crisis will push an additional 5 million Nigerians into poverty in 2020,” the statement said.
The World Bank explained that the facility was prepared jointly with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).