28 August 2015, Abuja – The World Bank is now set to disburse $ 140 million (about N29 billion) to 26 states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, under the Community and Social Development Project, CSDP.
The project had disbursed $200 million from 2009 to 2014 in the first phase of the project according to, the World Bank Task Team Leader for the project, Dr. Foluso Okunmadewa.
States to benefit from the additional financing will focus on the most vulnerable households in poor communities in the country. The 26 states include Anambra, Cross River, Edo, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kastina, Kogi Ondo and Sokoto.
The additional financing is expected to fund micro-project facilities such as rehabilitation and construction of school class rooms, health centers and clinics, skills acquisition, rural electrification, rural transport, community water schemes, community housing schemes, rural market infrastructure to mention but a few.
Vulnerable groups will also benefit from special grants in the projects. Such groups include internally displaced poor persons, marginalized or chronically poor households, widows and the physically challenged.
According to Dr. Okunmadewa, “This project will not only help vulnerable people in the short term, including those in conflict-affected areas, but will also help build and rebuild long-lasting partnership between local governments and communities. In addition, it will help integrate communities as well as make smart investments in people for the future,” The first phase of the World Bank funding of the Community Social
Development Project (CSDP) which benefited over 5,600 communities and about 2 million people in the participating states of federation was fully disbursed by December 2014.
Speaking on the additional financing, the World Bank, Acting Country Director for Nigeria, Indira Konjhodzic, said “The Bank is happy to approve additional funds for this project to scale up the impact on more communities in Nigeria and, particularly, the vulnerable in the society. It is also another step towards helping those affected by conflicts.” especially in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.”
The development objective of the Additional Financing for the project is to increase access by the poor to improved social and natural resource infrastructure services in a sustainable manner throughout Nigeria. It is also expected to increase opportunities for social and livelihood activities for poor households; strengthen the local level mechanism of support for poor and vulnerable households; as well as, provide information for input into the process of development of a national strategy for a community-driven development approach for inclusive growth and development in the country.
The new phase of the Project will terminate on December 31, 2017.
*Emma Ujah – Vanguard