The World Bank has approved another $961 million loan for the implementation of 2 program for results operations in Nigeria, Punch claims. The first of these 2 projects are the Better Education Service Delivery for All which targets out-of-school children, seeking to return them into the classrooms and in the long run improve literacy, and strengthen accountability for results in the educational sector.
The second is the Kaduna State Economic Transformation Program for Results. This program is specific for enhancing private sector investment in Kaduna State through improved business environment, effective budget planning and execution, and fiscal accountability. With these, Nigeria’s debt grows even more. But the question is what values are Nigerians getting for these loans?
For example, while the immediate benefits of the out-of-school program is glaring, other contextual factors may hinder its eventual sustainability. Many of these out-of-school youths are in that situation because they have to support their families financially. What remedies are available to guarantee parents financial survival during that period? Furthermore, what happens when the said children complete their education? It is an open secret that the numbers of unemployed and under-employed continue to soar as the infrastructural and economic facilities needed to generate employment and stimulate entrepreneurship are absent. The country is even still battling an economic recession.
Other such holes can be poked into the Kaduna program as well. The state is seeking to do something that the Central Bank of Nigeria, with all its acumen and financial know-how has been unable to do- bring back foreign investment. Also, while the program focuses on ‘budget performance and fiscal accountability through citizen engagement’, what happens to the state’s and by extension, the country’s political climate?
These issues need serious attention as it seems Nigeria is going deeper and deeper into debt and few tangible results that matter to the masses are being achieved. What is more, its Nigerians that have to repay.