A whopping $1.5b loan has been approved by the World Bank to implement specific developmental projects the international financial institution has confirmed.
In a statement on Tuesday, World Bank country director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri said the approved loan facility has a five-year tenure which will run between 2021 and 2024.
The World Bank added that the facility was prepared jointly with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
“This country partnership framework will guide our engagement for the next five years in supporting the government of Nigeria’s strategic priorities by taking a phased and adaptive approach,” Chaudhuri said.
“To realize its long-term potential, the country has to make tangible progress on key challenges and pursue some bold reforms. Our engagement will focus on supporting Nigeria’s efforts to reduce poverty and promote sustained private sector-led growth.”
Specifically, the loan is expected to be deployed in areas of human capital development, job creation, economic transformation, and diversification, as well as strengthening the foundations of the public sector.
It will be recalled that back in May 2020, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had revealed the World Bank loan is part of economic stimulus to cushion the impact of coronavirus.
The Minister revealed that the World Bank maintains that the impact of the COVID-19 on Nigeria will lead to severe amplified human and economic cost, which will move the country into a recession.
Ahmed added that the relief from the World Bank will also involve policy-based policy budget support for the Federal Government.
It will focus on measures to maintain macro-financial stability and create fiscal space for the stimulus.
Though many Nigerians had rejected the idea of a fresh loan, the Senate approved the borrowing in June 2020 and after initially delaying the facility due to Nigeria’s inability to meet certain conditions, the World Bank’s board of directors has finally approved the $1.5 billion loan facility.