World Bank Commits $300m To Poverty Reduction

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The World Bank has concluded arrangements to commit the sum of $300 million credit to Nigeria, to tackle poverty particularly among the vulnerable.

To this end, the Board of the Bank is to give approval for the release of the credit tomorrow? for the project to flag? off in April this year.

?The new project which? is to specifically target the poorest of the poor, is known as Youth Employment and Social Support? Operation and it? is the Breton Wood’s new strategy of combating poverty through prosperity sharing by identifying the core vulnerable in the society and empowering them said Dr RitvaReinkka, the World? Bank Director for the Human Development Group in the Africa Region who addressed the press at the end of a five-day working visit to the country .

Although, 20 states in the country have indicated? interest to participate in the project, the pilot scheme is to commence in seven states of? Bauchi, Niger, Cross River, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo and Kwara .

Under the scheme, the vulnerable will be identified and selected for the purpose of conditional cash transfer under the social safety? programme like public works and skilled acquisition programs as an empowerment tool to give them a lift in life.

Reinkka, expressed concern that though Nigeria was recording growth it was not inclusive as there was still wide disparity between the haves and the have-nots in the country with even a large population of about 10 million Nigerian children dropping out of schools because of funding.

She said: There is a lot more that needs to be done to have inclusive growth in Nigeria and scale up on child and maternal mortality rate and the quality of education. It is disturbing that about 10 million kids are dropping out of schools in Nigeria. Nigeria does have a special challenge in this regard because it is one of the countries in the region with the biggest challenge in this regard. There is a big issue concerning the quality of education. There is a concern that your education leaders and leaders in finance are doing well but a lot still needs to be done.

“ In health, we see in Africa is that under 5 death is reducing . We are hoping that Nigeria will join other 14 countries that have halved the Under five mortality rate.

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“We are also concerned about the growing inequality? and the different income? and human development indicators between the North and the South of Nigeria . That is why under our social Protection and safety are now a reality in Africa we are going to the Bank’s Board for approval of a $300 million next week for social safety in Nigeria.

This is in line with the the thinking of our President, a Medical Doctor who sees himself as a civil society activist as he is shifting emphasis from inputs and consultancy to results and output. He has been shaping our thinking to accelerate the speed to poverty reduction,” the visiting Director further said.

Present at the briefing were the Nigerian World Bank Country Director, Ms Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly and the Sector Leader of Human Development for the World Bank Country Office Nigeria, Prof. FolusoOkunmadewa among others.

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First Bank CEO To Join Transformation Discourse Nigeria Summit 2013

First Bank’s commitment in fostering thought leadership and promoting economic integration will see its group managing director, Mr BisiOnasanya, joining other panelists at the Nigeria Summit 2013 organised by Economist Conferences to discuss transformation within the West African sub-region.

President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to flag off the event on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, with a keynote address on the subject: “Nigeria: The Transformation Agenda”.

Onasanya will be joined by the executive vice president, Africa, Unilever, Frank Braeken, vice president, Procter & Gamble West Africa, Manoj Kumar, regional chief executive officer, Africa, Standard Chartered, Diana Layfield, and deputy director-general, World Trade Organisation, Valentine SendanyoyeRugwabiza, at the session on “The Regional Environment for Transformation.”

The panel will deliberate on several issues including: regional economic and security integration, existing regional economic blocks, regional cooperation through institutions and rules, functions of regional integrations and challenges of regional integration in West Africa.

According to the head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mrs FolakeAni-Mumuney, the Bank considers its participation at the summit as an “opportunity to align forces with global business leaders in the quest to understand the challenges of regional integrations and proffer viable solutions to overcoming them in the nearest future.”

?“At First Bank, we recognise the opportunities that regional integration offer and we have consistently demonstrated our support for initiatives geared towards growing integration, entrepreneurship and national development,” she added.

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