W’Bank approves $1.5bn package for post- COVID-19 economic recovery

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World Bank Group (WBG) has approved a $1.5 billion package to help build a resilient recovery post-COVID19.

The package  which is a five-year country partnership framework (CPF) from 2021 to 2024 will serve as a buffer for the  fall in oil prices occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

The bank said that  the economy  contracted  by over 4 per cent  in 2020, plunging the country into its deepest recession since the 1980s. Government revenues, it said,  could fall by more than $15 billion  this year, as the crisis  pushed  an estimated five million Nigerians into poverty in 2020.

“The CPF 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.

“To realise 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.”the document obtained from the bank’s website said. The CPF will focus on four areas of engagement: Investing in human capital by increasing access to basic education, quality water and sanitation services; improving primary healthcare and increasing the coverage and effectiveness of social assistance programmes.

The bank said that  additional investments in promoting women’s empowerment and youth employment and skills, especially for young women, will also help reduce maternal and child mortality.

It will equally promote jobs and economic transformation and diversification by supporting measures to unlock private investment and job creation and increasing access to reliable and sustainable power for households and firms.  “The CPF will also focus on boosting digital infrastructure, and developing economic corridors and smart cities, to provide Nigerians with improved livelihoods.Enhancing resilience by strengthening service delivery and livelihood opportunities in the northeast and other regions grappling with insecurity, as well as modernising agriculture and building climate resilience.Strengthening the foundations of the public sector by improving public financial management and strengthening the social contract between citizens and government through improved fiscal and debt management.

SOURCE: THE SUN

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