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World Bank approves $750m fund for Nigeria

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Nigeria gets $750 million from World Bank to improve business environment.

The World Bank has approved a fund from the International Development Association (IDA) in the amount of $750 million for Nigeria in order to encourage investments in the country and stimulate industrial activities. This information was made public by the Washington-based international financial institution in a statement that the IDA credit will assist in accelerating the execution of critical actions that would improve the business enabling environment across a variety of states within the country.

This will be a plus because Nigeria’s National Development Plan (NDP) already aims to pursue sustained economic growth, with the goal of creating 21 million full-time jobs and getting 35 million people out of Poverty by 2025. Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, who is the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business and the Secretary of PEBEC, said that this change will impact four reform areas, with Disbursement-Linked Indicators focusing on improving land administration and the process for investing in land, increasing sustainable large-scale investments, improving the business-enabling Infrastructure and making it easier for companies to operate.

SABER program provides incentive financing to the states based on results.

The State Action for Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) is a three-year performance intervention program based on performance that was launched by the PEBEC Secretariat and the technical team of the World Bank with the backing of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Secretariat and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) Home Finance Department. All participant states have the potential to receive a maximum of $52.5 million during the three years. And there has been substantial engagement by the PEBEC Secretariat and other partners to strengthen the program.

Building on PEBEC’s achievements the SABER program provides incentive financing to the states based on results and the delivery of wholesale technical assistance to fill in the gaps in reformation implementation. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director, World Bank-Nigeria, said that the Program-for-Results backs up the most important state-level businesses, enabling reforms of the government’s SABER program. He added that Private Sector investments are the best way to boost employment, boost state revenues, and improve citizens’ economic and social well-being.

Nigeria has been experiencing change in its business environment.

Recently, Nigeria has been advancing in finding its way around barriers that restrain the business environment, particularly through the action propounded by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), and this was also acknowledged by the World Bank. However, it stated that there are still lapses in its ability to attract local and foreign Investment compared to others. Although all of Nigeria’s 36 states and the FCT have the potential to stimulate private investment, they vary in their effectiveness in doing so, However, the State Action for Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) program will accelerate this.

Bertine Kamphuis, who is the SABER Task Team Leader, affirmed that the program seeks to solidify and strengthen the business enabling environment changes across more states. The Program-for-Results model, which guarantees disbursement of funds upon achievement of results, assists the government in boosting its own program by incentivizing performance levels at the state through results-based financing. In achieving this great course, the state governments are the key players in the program’s execution because they are accountable for its outcomes.

All states in Nigeria can participate in the program.

More so, the World Bank also affirmed that all 36 states in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are eligible to participate in this program as it will be based on their ability to demonstrate that they can take action to improve challenges in the business environment in key areas such as land administration, public-private partnerships (PPP), regulatory framework for private investment in fiber optic infrastructure, investment promotion frameworks and services and business enabling regulatory environments.


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