The World Bank will in the next three years invest about $57.3 billion in the West African subregion, aimed at stimulating growth.
And Nigeria tops the list of countries to benefit from the gesture, according to the bank’s Group President, Mr. Jim Kim.
According to the chief executive of the muliti-national institution, the release of the fund will be between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2020.
In a statement released to newsmen on Monday in Abuja by the Senior Communications Officer, World Bank Nigeria, Mrs Olufunke Olufon, Kim said the money would be raised by three subsidiaries of the group.
He said the bulk of the financing, $45 billion, will come from the International Development Association (IDA), a subsidiary of the bank meant to assist the poorest countries of the world.
“The financing for Sub-Saharan Africa also will include an estimated $8 billion in private sector investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the Bank Group.
“With this commitment, we will work with our clients to substantially expand programs in education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate, infrastructure, and institutional reform.
“The IDA financing for operations in Africa will be critical to addressing roadblocks that prevent the region from reaching its potential.
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“To support countries’ development priorities, scaled-up investments will focus on tackling conflict, fragility, and violence; building resilience to crises including forced displacement, climate change, and pandemics; and reducing gender inequality.
“Efforts will also promote governance and institution building, as well as jobs and economic transformation.
“This financing will help African countries continue to grow, create opportunities for their citizens, and build resilience to shocks and crises,” he said.
He explained that significant amount would be available to finance regional initiatives, adding that the programme would enhance sound investments, untapped due to lack of capital and perceived risks.
“The IBRD priorities will include health, education, and infrastructure projects such as expanding water distribution and access to power.
“The priorities for the private sector investment will include infrastructure, financial markets, and agribusiness.
“IFC also will deepen its engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states and increase climate-related investments.
“Expected IDA outcomes include essential health and nutrition services for up to 400 million people, access to improved water sources for up to 45 million, and 5 Gigga Watts of additional generation capacity for renewable energy.”
According to Kim, a $1.6 billion financing package would be to tackle the impending threat of famine in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions.
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