The World Bank has expressed readiness to grant Nigeria a loan of $500 million to enable the country tackle the issue of its teeming out-of-school children.
World Bank’s senior education specialist, Dr. Olatunde Adekola, disclosed this in Sokoto, yesterday, when he led a five-man team of the bank on a courtesy call on Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
According to him, the loan would be given under the bank’s ‘Better Education-For-All (BEDA)’ Project and that the project would, specifically, focus on the northern parts of Nigeria, specifically to bolster girl-child education.
“The project will be results oriented, ensure that children are able to read and write.
“This is to help the government to strengthen its service delivery mechanisms to children, girls, women and other vulnerable groups.
“Most of the challenges in the country are education related and the five-year project is aimed at reversing the ugly trend,” Adekola stated.
He, however, expressed satisfaction with the efforts so far made by Tambuwal to move the education sector forward in the state and lauded the state for allocating about 27 per cent of its annual budget to education in the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.
“The state government also deserves a pat on the back for ensuring the prompt payment of teachers’ salaries. We have also noted an unlimited appetite by parents in the state for the education of their children,” he added.
Tambuwal, in his response, promised to sustain the existing partnership between the bank and the state government.
“We will continue to honour our own side of commitments to such agreements in terms of finances and other issues. We have begun the process of creating an agency to be in charge of the education of the girl-child. We will ensure the effective utiliation of the funds… “he said.