The World Bank has made a $8.5 billion commitment to Nigeria to fund critical issues ranging from agriculture to education.
The World Bank Country Director to Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, revealed this on Thursday in Abuja during a summit organized by the Emergency Coordination Center, noting that the amount was the highest of any country.
He noted that it was still infinitesimal compared with the needs of Nigeria, stressing, however, that around $2.5 billion to $3 billion of the fund had been channelled towards education.
“Half of the population of Nigeria itself is less than 17 years old. This means there is a need to invest in human capital development,” he said.
He noted that the future of Nigeria depended on the ability of the young people to go to school, stressing that it was important to make schools safe to ensure that fewer children were out of school. He further said it was Nigeria’s call to determine how it would mobilise its financial resources to enable young Nigerians to go to school or whether its scarce resources would be used to subsidise petrol with over N6.5 trillion.
Africa’s most populous nation is mobilising N6.7 trillion for petrol subsidies at the expense of education and health. About 10.1 million children are out of school, according to the education ministry, but a report suggests it is up to 18.5 million. Analysts have described Nigeria’s insistence on subsidies as financial indiscipline, noting that it would have adverse consequences on the Nigerian economy.