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NECA, NESG differ on World Bank $700m loan

The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group have divergent views on the approval of a $700m fresh loan by the World Bank for Nigeria to enhance adolescent girls’ learning and empowerment.

While the NESG lauded the move by the Federal Government to boost human capital development, NECA believed that any further loan by the government would deepen the country’s economic woes.

The PUNCH reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria, in a statement published on its website last week Friday, said that the new loan was to provide additional funds for an ongoing project known as the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment.

The statement read, “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 11 additional states and increase the targeted beneficiaries to include out-of-school girls, those who are married, and those who have disabilities.”

It was 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.

It was also noted that an estimated one million children were affected by increased insecurity around schools in 2020-2021.

The statement added, “In the seven AGILE programme 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.