04 November 2014, Abuja – The World Bank Group’s loan and grant approvals for Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries have hit $10.6bn.
In its 2014 Annual Report, the bank said its assistance to Africa reached a record high this fiscal year with the approval of $10.6bn for 141 projects.
The leading sectors that benefitted from the assistance were public administration, law and justice ($2.1bn); energy and mining ($1.9bn); and transport ($1.5bn).
Specifically on Nigeria, the bank said, “In a major push, the IBRD, IFC and MIGA combined forces under a joint energy business plan for Nigeria.
“The plan will support Nigeria’s energy reform programme and help to increase installed generation capacity by about 1,000 megawatts, while mobilising nearly $1.7bn of private sector financing for Africa’s largest economy.”
On growth rate in the African region, the bank said, “Sub-Saharan Africa continued to grow strongly in 2013, with output increasing by 4.7 per cent. Excluding South Africa, growth was six per cent, well above the global Gross Domestic Product average of 2.4 per cent.
“The region is expected to remain one of the world’s fastest growing, with its GDP projected to rise to above per cent per cent in 2015–16.
“The share of people living on less than $1.25 a day declined from an estimated 58 per cent to 48.5 per cent between 1996 and 2010. If recent trends of a one per cent per year decline are sustained, poverty rates will fall below 30 per cent by 2030.”
The report stated that the bank supported country-led efforts to improve agricultural productivity by linking farmers to markets and reducing risk and vulnerability, to increase rural employment, and make agriculture more environmentally sustainable.
This fiscal year, it provided more than $1.1bn in agricultural assistance to sub-Saharan Africa, a 33 per cent increase over the past two years, it said.
Priority projects included support in Ethiopia for improving pastoralism through community development and livelihoods, and sub-regional support for promoting agribusiness in Senegal, and meeting food security and emergency needs in the Central African Republic and Madagascar.
– The Punch